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Full text of "Seven keys to Baldpate; a mysterious melodramatic farce, in a prologue, two acts, and an epilogue"

PS 

3505 

0345 

S4 

1914 




CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




GIFT OF 

Cornell University 
Department of Theatre Arts 



Cornell University Library 
PS 3505.O345S4 1914 



Seven keys to Baldpate 




a mysterious melo 




3 1924 022 326 114 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tliis book is in 
tlie Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924022326114 



Seven Keys To 
Baldpate 

A MYSTERIOUS MELODRAMATIC FARCE 
In a Prologue, Two Acts and an Epilogue 

BY 
GEORGE M. COHAN 



Based on the Novel, "Seven Keys to Baldpate," by Earl 

Derr Biggers, published and duly copyrighted by 

The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1913 

Duly Copyrighted, 1913, 1914, in the United States of 

America, the Dominion of Canada, Great Britain, 

Australia and by International Copyright, 

BY Georgei M. Cohan 



All Rights Reserved 

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned 
that "SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE," being fully pro- 
tected under the copyright laws of the United States of 
America, Great Britain, the Dominion of Canada, and 
other countries of the world, is subject to a royalty, and 
anyone presenting the play without the consent of the 
author or his authorized agents will be liable to the pen- 
alties by law provided. Applications for the amateur 
acting rights must be made to Samuel French, 25 West 
45th Street, New York, N. Y. 



New York 
SAMUEL FRENCH 

PtTBLISHER 

25 West 4:5th Street 



London 

SAMUEL FRENCH, Ltd. 

36 Southampton Street 

STRAND 



Based on the Novel, "Seven Keys to Baldpate" by Earl 

Derr Biggers, published and duly copyrighted by 

The Bobbs-Merrilt Company, 1913 

Duly Copyrighted, 1913, 1914, in the United States of 

America, the Dominion of Canada, Great Britain, 

Australia and by International Copyright, by 

George M. Cohan 

All Rights Reserved 

"Seven Keys to Baldpate^' 



Especial notice should be taken that the possession of 
this book without a valid contract for production first 
having been obtained from the publisher, confers no right 
or license to professionals or amateurs to produce the play 
publicly or in private for gain or charity. 

Inits present form this play is dedicated to the reading 
public only, and no performance, representation, produc- 
tion, recitation, public reading or radio broadcasting may 
be given except by special arrangement with Samuel 
French, 35 West 45th Street, New York. 

Amateur royalty quoted on application. 

Whenever the play is produced by amateurs the following 
notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertis- 
ing for the play: "Produced by special arrangement with 
Samuel French of New York." 

Attention is called to the penalty provided by law for 
any infringement of the author's rights, as follows. 

"Section 4966 : — Any person publicly performing or rep- 
resenting any dramatic or musical composition for which 
copyright has been obtained, withv-ut the consent of the 
proprietor of said dramatic or musical composition, or his 
heirs and assigns, shall be liable for damages thereof, 
such damages, in all cases to be assessed at such sum, not 
less than one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dol- 
lars for every subsequent performance, as to the court 
shall appear to be just. If the unlawful performance and 
representation be wilful and for profit, such person or 
persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon con- 
viction shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one 
year."— U. S. Revised Statutes: Title 60, Chap. 3. 



The following is a copy of the playbill of the first per- 
formance of "SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE," as pro- 
duced at the Astor Theatre, New York, September 22nd, 
1913. 

COHAN & HARRIS 

Present 

SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

A Melodramatic Farce 

in 

A Prologiie, Two Acts, and An Epilogue 

BY 
GEORGE M. COHAN 

Based on the Novel, "Seven Keys to Baldpate," by 
Earl Derr Biggers, published by the Bobbs-Merrill Company. 

THE CAST 
(In the order of their appearance) 

Elijah Quimby Edgar Haistead 

Mrs. Quimby Jessie Grahame 

William Hallowell Magee. . . .Wallace Eddinger 

John Blajid Purnell B. Pratt 

Mary Norton Margaret Greene 

Mrs. Rhodes Lorena Atwood 

Peters, the hermit Joseph Allen 

Myra Thornhill Gail Kane 

Lou Max Roy Fairchitd 

Jim Cargan Martin Alsop 

Thomas Hayden Claude Brooke 

JiGGS Kennedy Carleton Macy 

The Owner of Baldpate John C. King 

The scene is laid in the office of Baldpate Inn. 
Time: The Present. 



CHARACTERS 

(In the order of their appearance) 

Elijah Quimby, the caretaker of Baldpaie Inn. 

Mrs. Quimby, the caretaker's wife. 

William Hallowell Magee^ the novelist. 

John Bland, the millionaire's right hand man. 

Mary Norton, the newspaper reporter. 

Mrs. Rhodes, the charming widow. 

Peters, the Hermit of Baldpate. 

Myra Thornhill, the blackmailer. 

Lou Max, the Mayor's man "Friday." 

Jim Cargan, the crooked mayor of Reuton. 

Thomas Hayden, the president of the R. and E. 

Suburban R.R. 
JiGGS Kennedy, Chief of Police of Asquewan Fails. 
The Owner of Baldpate. 

The scene is laid in the office of Baldpate Inn. 
Time: The Present. 



Produced for the first time on any stage at Par- 
sons^ Theatre, Hartford, Conn., September 15, 1913. 

Opened at the Astor Theatre, New York City, Sep- 
tember 22, 1913. 

Written, staged and produced by Geo. M. Cohan. 

No. Two Company opened at Cohan's Grand 
Opera House, Chicago, February 15, 1914, 



SEVEN KEYS TO 
BALDPATE 



ACT I 



Scene explained on diagrcum later. 

At Rise of curtain the stage is bare. No lights en 
the stage except the rays of the moon shiningi 
through gla^s door and the sky above. The 
wind is heard howling outside. The effect is 
that of a terrific storm taking place. Every- 
thing within the scene proves that it is a deserted, 
desolate spot; in fact, an inn, a summer resort 
on the mountains closed for the winter. 

After thirty seconds Elijah Quimby appears at 
glass door upstage and is seen swinging a lan- 
tern. He does this as if guiding sdrfieone who 
is following; a sort of signal to Mrs. Quimby^ 
who presently appears trudging behind him. He 
hands her the lantern while he fumbles with a 
bunch of keys he has taken from his pocket. She 
gives him a light from the lantern while he finds 
the right key and unlocks the door. As the door 
swings open the wind is heard howling unmerci- 
fully. He holds the door open for her to enter, 
then follows her in, closing the door. They both 
stamp their feet to get them warm. Mks. 
Quimby goes down e.g., holding up lantern and 
5 



6 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

peering around room, then goes up r. and to c. 
ami down to table h.., on which she places the 
lantern. Quimby, after locking the door, goes 
slowly down L. to table, meanwhile stamping 
feet, removing ear-muffs and placing cap and 
mittens on table. Mrs. Quimby removes her 
mittens, and they both stand rubbing their hands 
cmd ears. All this business is done without a 
word being spoken. The reason for it is to prove 
to the audience that the night is bitterly cold and 
that the two people are half frozen after their 
climb up the mountain. 

Quimby. (At tctble v., right of Mrs. Quimby, 
shivering) You know, Mother, I think it's colder 
in here than it is outside. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Shivering) I was going to say 
the same thing, Elijah. 

Quimby. Maybe we'd better open the door and 
let in some warm air. 

Mrs. Quimby. You'd better not ; the snow'll blow 
all over the place. See if there's any logs over there 
and we'll build a fire. (Indicates fireplace with a 
nod of her head.) 

Quimby. (Starts r., stops and stamps his feet) 
You know, Mother, I think my feet are froze. I 
can't feel 'em when I walk. (Knocks hands to- 
gether.) 

(TOWN Clock Ready.) 

Mrs. Quimby. I don't wonder, after that climb 
up the mountain. Lord, I'll never forget this night ! 
rm_ about perished. (She stradghtens chairs, etc., 
while Quimby is looking for logs.) Any logs there ? 

Quimby. Yep, plenty of 'em. I got this thing 
all ready, anyway. I was goin' to build a fire when 
I was up here last week. I'll have 'em blazin' in a 
minute if I can find them darned matches. (Searches 
through his pockets.) I can swear I put a box of 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE f 

''em in my pocket before I left the house ! (Finds 
them.) Yep, here they are ! 

Mrs. Quimby. You'd better light a lamp first, 
so's you can see what you're doin'. 

Quimby. That's a good idea. 

(Clock in distance strikes eleven while he is scratch- 
ing match and lighting lamp over fireplace e. 
Note. — Footlights up slightly when lamp is 
turned up.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Standing at foot of stairs) 
Eleven o'clock. 

Quimby. Yep, that's what it is — eleven o'clock. 
(Goes upstage and looks through glass door.) That 
train's been in over twenty minutes already. I sup- 
pose it's the storm that delays him. 'Tain't over a 
ten-minute walk up the mountain from the depot. 
(Comes down R.c. j 

Mrs. Quimby. (Goes to r., near desk) Maybe 
the train's late on account of the storm. 

Quimby. No; I heard it signal the crossing at 
Asquewan Junction a half hour ago. That feller'll 
be here before we know it. (Hands her matches.) 
Light the other lamp, will you. Mother, while I get 
at this fire? 

(Mrs. Quimby takes matches and lights lamp up l., 
near stairway. He builds fire in fireplace. Both 
are busily engaged in fixing room, heating and 
f^'ghting it during following conversation:) 

Mrs. Quimby. Maybe we should have gone to 
Hie depot to meet him ? 

Quimby. (Going c.) No ; we shouldn't have done 
nothin' of the kind. The telegram just said to come 
here and to open up the place and have it ready for 
him. Them's the instructions, and them's the only 



a SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

things I foller — is instructions. (Starts toward R.j 

Mrs. QuiMBY. (Going c.) But what do you sup- 
pose anybody wants to be doin' in a summer hotel on 
the top of a mountain in the dead of winter? 

QuiMBY. Mother, you know I can't figger out 
nothin'. (Goes up to door, peers out, then comes 
down to Mks. Quimby.) If I could I'd 'a' been 
a multi-millionaire years ago, instead of an old fool 
caretaker. (Goes nearer to Mrs. Quimby.) Dust 
up a bit there, will you, Mother, and make the place 
look a little respectable? (Goes toward fireplace.) 
She'll be goin' all right in a minute now. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Dusting with cloth she has taken 
from foot of stairs) What's his name again ? 

Quimby. Magee, I think the telegram says. 
(M^ets Mrs. Quimby at c.) 

Mrs. Quimby. Magee? 

Quimby. Wait a minute, I'll make sure. (Takes 
telegram from his pocket.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Takes telegram from him and 
goes t..) Give it to me; I want to read it myself. 
The whole thing's very mysterious to me. (Goes to 
table and sits, reading by light of lantern.) 

Quimby. (Goes toward Mrs. Quimby — fire be- 
gins to blaze up) Of course it's mysterious, but it's 
none of our business. Mr. Bentley is the owner of 
Baldpate Inn. If Mr. Bentley wants to permit some 
dam fool to come to this place to be froze to death 
by stale air and to be frightened to death by spooks, 
it's his concern and not ours. (Turns and looks at 
fire, which is biasing.) Ah, there she goes, she's 
blazing up fine. That'll warm it up a little. (Goes 
L.C. to Mrs. Quimby during next speech.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Reading message slowly) "My 
friend, William Hallowell Magee, will arrive in As- 
quewan Falls to-night on the ten-forty. He will 
occupy Baldpate Inn, so be prepared to receive him 
there, and turn the key over to him and do whatever 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 9 

you can to make him comfortable. He has impor- 
tant work to do, and has chosen Baldpate for his 
workshop. Follow instructions. Ask no questions. 
Hal Bentley." 

QuiMBY. (Has been listening attentively) Sounds 
like them Black Hand notes they send to rich men, 
don't it? 

Mrs. QuiMBY. I can't understand it for the life 
of me. (Hands telegrams back to Quimby.) 

QuiMBY. Mother ! 

Mrs. Quimby. (Over to Qvivlby c.) Yes? 

Quimby. Cr. of c.) Maybe the feller's committed 
some crime and is comin' here to hide. 

Mrs. Quimby. Do you think so, EHjah ? 

Quimby. I don't know ; I say — ^mebbe. 

Mrs. Quimby. Well, if that's so, why should Mr. 
Bentley be interested in such a man? 

Quimby. (Thinks) I never thought of that. 
(Thinks.) Well, whatever it is, it's none of our 
business, and we mustn't mix in other people's af- 
fairs. (Goes Vi.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Thinks a moment, then comes 
down near Quimby) Elijah! 

Quimby. (Looks up) What? 

Mrs. Quimby. Do you think I'd better fix up one 
of them rooms? 

Quimby. Sure ; he'll have to have a place to sleep. 
Here — (Gives her key) — that opens the linen closet. 
You'd better fix up that first room to the left. (Points 
to room on balcony R.J That's the one Mr. Bentley 
always takes when he comes. 

Mrs. Quimby. (As she goes toward stairs, taking 
lantern from table) And you'd better put another 
log on the fire. (Quimby goes toward fireplace.) 
He'll probably be chilled to the bone by the time he 
climbs that mountain. Do you think he'll find his 
way alone? (Goes upstairs during speech.) 

Quimby. Oh, he'll find hi^ -sfr&y all right The 



10 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

station agent will most likely direct him. (Puts log 
on fire, which blazes up.) 

Mrs. Ouimby. (Going up the stairs) Occupying 
a summer hotel in the dead of winter ! It beats all 
what some people will do ! (Exits door L., leaving 
door open.) 

QuiMBY. (Takes out his pipe and sits thinking 
near fire) Humph ! It's pretty darned mysterious, 
all right. (Lights pipe and smokes.) I'll be jig- 
gered if I can figger it out. 

(Mrs. Quimby remains inside room four counts 
after cue, then comes from room carrying linen 
and bed coverings in her arms. She crosses bal- 
cony to room R. of balcony and exits, closing 
door. Quimby sits smoking and thinking. 
Magee appears at door upstage and peers 
through. He is carrying a suit and typewriter 
case. He puts them down and knocks on win- 
dow. Quimby doesn't move at first, but sits 
listening, to make sure he has heard a sound. 
Magee repeats the knocking. Quimby shifts 
around in his chair, looks up toward the win- 
dow, sees a form there, then gets up and sneaks 
along down stage until he gets to foot of stairs, 
then calls in suppressed tones to Mrs. Qutmby.) 

Quimby. Mother, Mother! (No answer from 
Mrs. Quimby. He runs half-way upstairs and calls 
a bit louder) Mother ! 

Mrs. Quimby. (Appears on balcony, peers over 
and sees Quimby) Did you call me, Elijah ? 

Quimby. Hush! Don't talk so loud! (Warns 
her to he quiet.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Lowering her voice) What's the 
matter? (They both listen for a second. Magee's 
third rap comes.) Good Lord, what's that? 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE ii 

QuiMBY. (On stairs) It's him — ^he's here ! (Ht 
points to door upstage.) 
Mrs. Quimby. Who? 
Qui M BY. The telegram — I mean the man. 
Mrs. Quimby. (Starts down the stairs) Where? 
Quimby. At the door. 

(Magee again raps impatiently.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Urging Quimby down the stairs) 
Why don't you let him in ? 

Quimby. (Both come downstairs) Do you think 
I'd better? 

Mrs. Quimby. Well, ain't that what the telegram 
said? 

Quimby. Why, yes, of course, but 

Mrs. Quimby. (Shoving Quimby toward door) 
You got your instructions. Go on and do as you're 
told. 

(Magee knocks again and rattles the door-knob.) 

Quimby. (In a loud voice as he goes up toward 
door) Yes, yes ; jest a minute, jest a minute! 

(As Quimby goes up to door, Mrs. Quimby comes 
down L. Quimby unlocks door and swings it 
open. The wind howls. Magee, carrying the 
two cases, enters and comes to c. and standA 
bowing, first to Mrs. Quimby and then to 
Quimby, then drops the cases in the middle of 
the stage. Looks around the room for a mo- 
ment, wild-eyed, then sees fire burning and goes 
over to it as fast as his half-frozen legs will al- 
low him. He pulls chair in front of fire and 
sits warming himself. Quimbys stand c, watch- 
ing him in amazement. As soon as Magee has 
entered Quimby has locked the door and coma 



12 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

etfOwn R. As Magee sits, Quimby gaes to Mrs. 
QUIMBY at uc.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside to Quimby) The poor 
thiiig's half froze. 

Quimby. (Approaches Magee, Mrs. Quimby 
following him to fireplace) What's the matter, 
young fellow,, are you cold? 

Magee. (Smiles a sickly smile, shakes his head, 
laughs halfrheartedly, then replies) Humph! Am 
I cold ! I feel pretty rocky, but I've got to laugh at 
that one. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside to Quimby) Better give 
him a drink of whiskey. 

Quimby. Yes, I guess so. (Takes flask from his 
pocket and hands it to Magee) Here, young fellow, 
try a little of this. 

Magee. (Looks up, sees flask, and grabs it) 
Thanks ! (Takes a long drink. Quimby goes c. to 
Mrs. Quimby.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside to Quimby) Do you sup- 
pose it's him? 

Quimby. (Aside) How do I know ? 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside) Well, ask him and find 
out. 

Magee. (Offers flask to Quimby) Thanks again, 
a t^i.ousand thanks. 

Quimby. Oh, you just put that in your pocket; 
ypu might need it later on. 

Magee. Thanks. 

(Mrs. Quimby picks up cases from floor and takes 
them to table v.) 

Quimby. You're Mr. Magee, ain't you? 
Magee. Right ! What's left of me is still M^ee. 
You expected me, of course. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 13 

QuiMBY. Oh, yes ; we got Mr. Bentley's telegram 
all right. My name's Quimby. 

Magee. So I surmised. 

Quimby. This lady is my wife, Mrs. Quiiiiby. 
(Points to Mrs. Quimby, who crosses to Magee at 
fireplace.) 

Magee. I thought as much. Delighted, Mrs. 
Quimby. (Bows to Mrs. Quimby without rising.) 

Mrs. Quimby. Glad to meet you, Mr. Migee.' 

Magee. You'll pardon me for not rising, but really 
I'm terribly cold. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Goes to Quimby during follow- 
ing speech) That's all right. You sit there and get 
het up. We've been living here in the mountains so 
long we don't mind the cold as much as strangers 
do, but even we felt it to-night, didn't we, EHjah? 

Quimby. That's right. Mother; this is an uncom- 
mon cold night. 

Magee. (Rises, removes overcoat, mufflef and 
hat, and places them on chair) That little trip from 
the railroad station to the top of the mountain has 
taught me to firmly believe everything Jack London 
ever wrote about and everything old Dr. Cook ever 
lied about. (Crosses to l.c, looking at everything, 
very much interested, and rubbing his hands.) So 
this is Baldpate, is it ? Well, well, well ! 

Mrs. Quimby. ('r.c, aside to Quimby) Don't 
he talk funny ? 

Quimby. (v. of Mrs. Quimby — aside) Yes. 
Acts funny, too. Something's the matter with him, 
sure. (Both watch Magee closely.) j 

Magee. (Coming c.) You say you received Mr. 
Bentley's telegram saying I would be here ? 

Quimby. Yes; it only came about an hour ago, 
so we didn't have much time to prepare. 

Magee. I didn't decide to come here until' four 
o'clock this afternoon. 



14 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Mrs. Quimby. We was scared most to death get- 
tin' a telegram in the middle of the night. 

Magee. I'm very sorry to have taken you out on 
a night like this, but it was altogether necessary in 
order that I accomplish what I've set out to do. Let 
me see — ^the rooms above are equipped with fire- 
places, I believe ? (Looks up at rooms on balcony.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Crosses c. to Magee) Yes ; I'm 
just fixin' up one of the rooms. I'll start the fire, 
too. I'll have it all ready for you inside of five 
minutes. (Crosses to r., gets wood from box, and 
comes to r. of Quimby.) 

(LIGHTS Ready.) 

Magee. I wish you would. (Looks around room.) 
Yes; this would be too big a barn to work in. 
(Quimbys look at each other.) I'll no doubt be 
more comfortable up there. (Continues to take in 
surroundings.) 

^ Quimby. (Aside to Mrs. Quimby) He says he's 
goin' to work. I wonder what he means. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside, crossing to l. of Quimby) 
Pump him. Try to find out. (Aloud) Give me 
the matches. 

Quimby. Here you are. (He hands her a box of 
matches. Mrs. Quimby, with wood in her arms, 
starts for stairs and goes up on balcony.) 

Magee. This, I presume, is the hotel office. 

Quimby. That's right. 

Magee. (Strolls around stage looking at every- 
thing carefully. Quimby watching him closely) 
Well, well ! This certainly is old John H. Seclusion 
himself. 

(Lights go up.) 

Mr. andMRS. Quimby. (Together) Good Lord, 
where did those lights come from? Good Lord, 
what's happened? (As lights go up, Quimby darts 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 15 

behind desk r. Mrs. Quimby is leaning over bal- 
cony c. Both are frightened.) 

Magee. (Laughs) Don't be alarmed, Mrs. Quim- 
by; it's all right. I think I can explain this thing. 
Mr. Bentley has probably had the power turned on. 
He knew I'd have to have some real light for this 
kind of work. (Mrs. Quimby exits into room r. on 
balcony, closing the door. Magee goes to Quimby 
up R.j I suppose you're wondering what the devil 
I'm doing here. 

Quimby. That's just what I was wondering, 
young fellow. 

Magee. Well, I'll try to explain, although I'm not 
sure you'll understand. Sit down, Mr. Quimby. 
(Quimby hesitates.) It's all right, sit down. 
(Quimby gets chair and places it r.c, then sits.) 
Now, you are not, I take it, the sort of man to follow 
closely the light and frivolous literature of the day. 

Quimby. How's that ? 

Magee. You don't read the sort of novels that 
are sold by the pound in the department stores. 

Quimby. Nope. 

Magee. Well, I write those novels. 

Quimby. The dickens you do! 

Magee. Wild, thrilling tales for the tired busi- 
ness man's tired wife ; shots in the night ; chases 
after fortunes ; Cupid busy with his arrows all over 
the place. It's good fun — I like to do it, and — 
there's money in it. 

Quimby. You don't mean to tell me! 

Magee. Oh, yes, considerable. Of course, they 
say I'm a cheap melodramatic ranter. They say my 
thinking process is a scream. Perhaps they're right. 
(Moves chair out and sits l.c.J 

Quimby. Perhaps. 

Magee. Did you ever read "The Scar^f t Satchel" ? 

Quimby. Never. 

Magee. That's one of mine. 



i6 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

QUIMBY. Is it ? 

Magee. I've come here to Baldpate to think; to 
get away from melodrama, if possible; to do a novel 
so fine and literary that Henry Cabot Lodge will 
come to me with tears in his eyes and beg me to join 
his bunch of self-made immortals. And I'm going 
to do all this right here in this inn, sitting on this 
mountain, looking down on this little old world as 
Jove looked down from Olympus. What do you 
think of that? 

QuiMBY. (Shakes his head, affecting an air of 
understanding) Maybe it's all for the best. 

Magee. Of late I've been running short of ma- 
terial. (Rises, moves chair to r. of table and goes to 
QuiMBY.) I've needed inspiration. A title gave me 
that — "The lonesomest spot on earth," suggested by 
my very dear friend and your employer, Mr. Hal 
Bentley. "What and where is the lonesomest spot 
on earth?" I asked. "A summer resort in winter," 
said he. He told me of Baldpate — dared me to come. 
I took the dare — and here I am. 

QuiMBY. (Rising and going to Magee at c.) You 
mean you're goin' to write a book? 

Magee. That's just exactly what I'm going to do. 
I'm going to noveltee Baldpate. I'm here to get at- 
mosphere. 

QuiMBY. (Laughs) Lord, you'll get plenty of 
that, all right ! When are you goin' to start in ? 

Magee. Just as soon as I absorb my surround- 
ings and make a few mental notes. You see, I do 
most of my work in the dead of night. I find I 
concentrate more readily from midnight on. But I 
must have absolute solitude. The cradde of the fire, 
the roar of the wind, and the ticking of my watch 
will alone bear me company at Baldpate Inn. This 
all souncJs very strange and weird to you, I suppose. 

QuiMBY. How's that? 

Magee. I say, you can't quite fathom me. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 17 

QuiMBY. Well, you're here of your own accord, 
I take it. 

Magee. My dear Mr. Quimby, I'm here on a bet. 

QuiMBY. On a bet ! 

Magee. Exactly. I have here an explanation of 
the thing in Bentley's handwriting. (Takes paper 
from his pocket.) Do you care to look it over your- 
self, or would you rather I'd read it to you ? 

Quimby. Yes, go on and read it — I like to hear 
you talk, (Sits r.c.) 

Magee. (Smiles) Ah, then my personality has 
wormed its way into your good graces. 

Quimby. How's that? 

Magee. I mean to say, I evidently appeal to you. 

Quimby. Well, I don't know as you particularly 
a,ppeal to me, but 

Magee. But what? 

Quimby. (Laughs, confused) Oh, I guess I 
better not say it. 

Magee. Come on, what's on your mind? Tell 
me. 

Quimby. Well, to be honest with you, I can't 
figger out whether you're a smart man or a damn 
fool. 

Magee. (Laughs) Would you believe it, my dear 
sir, I've been stalled between those two opinions of 
myself for years? My publishers say I'm a smart 
man; my critics call me a damn fool. However, 
that's neither here nor there. This — (Indicating 
paper) — ^will perhaps clear away the cloud of mys- 
tery to some extent. Oh, perhaps Mrs. Quimby 
would be interested enough to hear this also. Will 
you call her, please ? 

Quimby. Sure! (Rises and calls) Mother! 
Oh, Mother! 

Mrs. Quimby. (Appears at door e. on balcony 
and comes to c. of it) Yes, I'm all through. Every- 
thing's ready up here. (Leans over balcony c.) 



i8 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

You'd better come up, Mister, and see if it satisfies 
you before we go. 

Magee. It's all right, Mrs. Quimby. I'll take 
your word for it that everything's all right. 

Quimby. Come on down here, Mother; Mr. 
Magee wants to read something to you. (Places 
chair for her R.C., next his own.) 

Mrs. Quimby. Is that so? (Starts downstairs.) 
I started the fire, so I guess the room'll be comfort- 
able enough to sleep in by the time you get ready to 
go to bed. (Is downstairs by now.) 

Quimby. Sit down, Mother. 

Mrs. Quimby. What! 

Quimby. Go on. See, I'm sittin'. (Mrs. Quim- 
by goes toward Quimby.) Mr. Magee's goin' to tell 
us why he's here. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Sits l. of Quimby) Is that so? 
Lord, I'd love to know! 

Magee. I have just explained to your husband 
that I am an author. I do popular novels, and I'm 
here to write a story — ^a story of Baldpate Mountain, 
laid in this very hotel, perhaps in this identical room. 
I am to complete thisltask within twenty-four hours, 
starting at midnight to-night. 

Quimby. Understand, Mother? He's goin' to 
write a book. 

Mrs. Quimby. (To Magee) Goin' to write a 
book in twenty- four hours ! 

Magee. That is the wager that has been made 
between Mr. Bentley and myself. He claimed it 
couldn't be done. I claimed it could. Five thou- 
sand dollars' worth of his sporting blood boiled, and 
he dug for his fountain pen and check book. I cov- 
ered the bet, and we posted the checks at the Forty- 
fourth street club. He was to choose the godfor- 
saken spot. (Looks around room.) He succeeded. 
I ran to my apartments, placed some manuscript 
paper, a dozen sandwiches and my slippers in a suit- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 19 

case, grabbed my faithful typewriting machine, just 
made the train, and here you see me, ready to win 
or lose the wager, as the case may be. 

QuiMBY. What do you think of that, Mother? 

Mrs. Quimby. (To Magee) I never heard of 
such a thing ! 

Magee. Here is a copy of the agreement, in which 
you will notice your name is mentioned, Mr. Quim- 
by. Listen. (Reads) "You are to leave New York 
City on the four-fifty-five for Asquewan Falls, ar- 
riving at ten- forty, and go direct to Baldpate Inn, 
a-top the Baldpate Mountain, where you will be met 
by my caretaker, Mr. Elijah Quimby, who, after 
making you comfortable, will turn over to you the 
key to the inn, the only key in existence." (To 
Quimby) Is that correct? 

Quimby. It's the only key I know of. 

Mrs. Quimby. There ain't no other key; I can 
swear to that. 

Magee. Good ! (Continues reading) "This will 
insure you against interruption, and give you the 
solitude necessary for concentration. You are to 
begin work at twelve o'clock Tuesday night, and 
turn over to Mr. Elijah Quimby the completed manu- 
script of a ten-thousand-word story of Baldpate no 
later than twelve o'clock Wednesday night." (To 
Quimby) You understand? 

Quimby. You're to turn it over to me ? 

Magee. Precisely. 

Quimby. What do you think of that. Mother? 

Mrs. Quimby. I never heard of such a thing ! 

Magee. You know Bentley's handwriting ; there's 
his signature — see for yourself. (Hands paper to 
Mrs. Quimby. Quimbys get up and read it to- 
gether. Magee takes stage.) 

Quimby. It's his writin', ain't it, Mother? 

Mrs. Quimby. (Doubtfully) Looks like it, but — 
(Looks at Magee suspiciously.) 



20 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

QuiMBY. (Aside) But what? 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside) The whole thing don't 
sound right to me. 

Quimby. (Aside) Me neither. We'd better 
watch this cuss. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside) I think so, too. 

(Quimby puts chair up r. Mrs. Quimby goes 

toward table l. 'Phone rings. Mrs. Quimby 

runs to foot of stairs, screaming. Quimby hugs 
the desk, frightened.) 

Mrs. Quimby. Good Lord! 

Quimby. (Over to Magee, up c.) Did you hear 
that? 

Magee. You mean the telephone? 

Mrs. Quimby. (Runs to Magee — Quimby grabs 
Magee by the arms) Spooks ! 

Quimby. Why, that thing's been out of ccanmis- 
sion all winter ! 

('Phone continues ringing. Magee laughs.) 

Mrs. Quimby. Let's get out of here, Lije. 

Magee. (LoMghs) Don't be alarmed, Mrs. 
Quimby; I think I can explain. Bentley has just 
about had the service renewed. He probably wants 
to find out if I've arrived. Excuse me just a mo- 
ment. (Goes to 'phone and stops buzzer. Quim- 
BYS stand c, watching.) Hello, hello! . . . Yes. 
Yes, right on time. . . . Almost twenty minutes 

ago. . . . Half frozen, thank you Yes, he's 

here now, also Mrs. Quimby. . . . Oh, we under- 
stand each other perfectly well. . . . It's everything 
you said it was. . . . The lonesomest spot on earth 
is right. (Laughs.) You still feel that way about it, 
eh ? Well, your opinion is going to cost you five thou- 
sand, old man. (Laughs.) All right, we'll see. . , . 



Seven keys to baldpate 21 

You want to talk to hin?, . . . Just a second. (To 
Quimby) He wants to talk to you, Mr. Quimby. 

QuiMBY. (Goes over to 'phone) Is it Mr. Bent- 
ley? 

Magee. Yes, here you are. Sit right down. (He 
hands Quimby receiver and goes l.c., taking notes. 
Mrs. Quimby goes up r. and listens to 'phone con- 
versation while watching Magee.) 

Quimby. (In 'phonef) Hello! (Smiles as he 
recognizes Bentley's voice.) Hello, Mr. Bentley. 
. . . Yes-, sir ; yes, sir. ... I understand, sir. . . . 
At twelve o'clock? . . . Yes, sir. . . . Oh, I'll be 
right here waiting. . . . Fine, thank you, sir ; we're 
both fine. . . , All right, sir Wait a min- 
ute. I'll ask him. (To Magee, who is on first land- 
ing of stairs.) He wants to know if there's anything 
more you want to say? 

Magee. (On stairs, taking notes) No ; just give 
him my regards, and tell him I'm spending his money 
already. 

Quimby. (In 'phone) He says there's nothing 
else, sir. . . . Yes, sir, I understand. . . . Good- 
bye, sir. (Hangs up receiver and crosses to Ma- 
gee.) He wants me to be here at twelve o'clock to- 
morrow night to talk to him on the telephone again. 

Magee. (Laughs as he goes to 'phone and severs 
connection) And it's very sad news you'll impart 
to him, Mr. Quimby. I'm going to win this wager ! 
(vi., below 'phone.) You know this whole thing 
wouldn't make a bad story in itself. (Crossing to 
L.) I'm thinking seriously of using it for the ground 
plot. (Points to door h.) Oh, this leads to where? 
(Goes to door of dining-room l. and opens it.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Going over toward door) That's 
the dining-room — ^leads through to the kitchen. That 
door to the left goes to the cellar. (Goes back to 
table L. Quimby looks at his watch.) 



22 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. Ah, ha, I see! (Goes toward Quimby, 
R.C.) Have you the exact time, Mr. Quimby? 

Quimby. Mine says half-past eleven. 

Magee. Thirty minutes to get my bearings and 
frame up a character or two for a start. (Crosses 
c. to R.C.J 

Mrs. Quimby. (Picks up suitcase and machine 
case from table l.^ Will I put these in your room ? 

Magee. No, no; you needn't bother. 

Mrs. Quimby. Oh, it's no bother at all. (Starts 
for the stairs.) I'm only too glad to do anything for 
any friend of Mr. Bentley. (Climbs stairs with 
cases and exits into room R.j 

Magee. (Up to Quimby, l.c.) Now you're quite 
sure I won't be disturbed while I am writing? 

Quimby. (uc.) Who's goin' to disturb you here ? 
No one ever comes within a mile of this place till 
around the first of April, except myself, and I only 
come up about once a week this kind of weather. 

Magee. You don't suppose any of Bentley's As- 
quewan friends, hearing of the wager, would take 
it upon thepiselves to interrupt the progress of my 
work? 

Quimby. Nobody knows you're here except me 
and the Missus, and we ain't goin' to tell no one. 

Magee. I have your word for that ? (Offers his 
hand to Quimby.) 

Quimby. (Takes Magee's hand) I never broke 
my word in my life. Guess that's why I'm a poor 
man. (Magee crosses to R.c.j The only other time 
I remember of anybody comin' here in the winter 
was the time of the reform wave at Reuton. The 
reformers got after a lot of crooked politicians, and 
they broke in here in the middle of the night and 
hid a lot of graft money in that safe over there. 
(Points to safe. Magee goes up to safe, opens the 
door, then comes down to Quimby, after closing safe 
door.) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 23 

Magee. You mean to tell me the reformers hid 
money in that safe? 

QuiMBY. No, the politicians. Reformers never 
have any money. 

Magee. (Laughs as he goes 'r.) Splendid! 

QuiMBY. What are you laughing at? 

Magee. (Turning back to Quimby) Nothing; 
it's all right. Go on, tell me about the hidden graft. 

Quimby. (Mrs. Quimby starts downstairs, bring- 
ing lantern and placing it on table l.) Oh, there's 
nothing much to tell. Some fellers up and gave 'em 
away, and the police come the next morning and 
found it here. Nobody claimed it, so of course they 
never got the gang. They threw a lot of fellers out 
of office, I believe. I didn't read much about it. 
But that's over four years ago. You needn't be: 
afraid, you won't be disturbed here. (Goes L. to 
table and gets his ndttens and cap. Mrs. Quimby 
is at table putting on mittens, etc.) 

Magee. (Going slightly R.J Grafting politicians 
— reformers — hidden money! Sounds like a good 
seller. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Goes to Magee at c. — Quimby 
takes lantern and goes back of table) Is there any- 
thing more we can do for you, Mr. Magee ? 

Magee. No, nothing I can think of, thank you. 

I'll be quite (Crossing to Quimby at table — 

Mrs. Quimby to R.c.j Oh, yes, of course. You've 
forgotten something, Mr. Quimby. 

Quimby. Forgot what? 

Magee. The key. 

Quimby. Oh, Lord ! Yes, the key ! Here it is. 
(Hands Magee the key.) 

Magee. You're positively certain that this key is 
the only key to Baldpate in existence ? 

Quimby. Yes, sir ; I'm sure. 

Mrs. Quimby. I can swear to it, 

Magee. Good ! 



24 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Mrs. Quimby. What are you going to do, lock 
yourself in? 

Magee. Precisely. 

Quimby. I don't mind staying here and keepin' 
watch for you if you want me to. 

Magee. No, tiianks ; I much prefer to be alone. 

Mrs. Quimby. I'd rather it would be you than 
me. Lord, I should think you'd be afraid of ghosts. 

Quimby. (Crosses to Mrs. Quimby) Mother, 
I've told you twenty times there ain't no such a 
thing. (Magee goes up i..) 

Mrs. Quimby. Well, they've been seen here, just 
the same. 

Magee. (Goes l.c. to Quimbys) Ghosts! 

Quimby. Oh, don't mind her, Mr. Magee. We 
think we know what the ghost is. There's an old 
feller up here in the mountain by the name of Peters 
— ^he's a hermit. 

Magee. A hermit ! 

Quimby. Yes ; he's one of them fellers that's been 
disappointed in love. His wife run off with a travel- 
ing man. He come here about ten years ago — ^lives 
in a little shack about a mile and a half north of here ; 
calls it the Hermit's Cave. All the summer boarders 
buy picture postcards from him. We figger he's the 
feller that's been frightening the people down in the 
valley by wavin' a lantern from the mountainside 
with a white sheet wrapped around him. 

Mrs. Quimby. But no one ever proved it was 
him. 

Quimby. Well, who else could it be? There ain't 
no such a thing as ghosts, is there, Mr. Magee ? 

Magee. Well, I hope not. (Muses. By-play be- 
tween the Quimbys.) Ghosts — ^hermits — ^not bad at 
all! 

Quimby. Well, come along. Mother; I guess 
maybe Mr. Magee is anxious to get to work. I'll 
say good-night, sir. (Offers hoMd to Magee.) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 25 

Magee. (Shakes Quimby's hand) Good night. 
And remember, twelve o'clock sharp for Mr. Bent- 
ley's 'phone call to-morrow night. 

QuiMBY. I'll be here on the minute. (Goes up 
c.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Shaking hands with Magee) 
And I'm comin' to see i£ you're still alive. Lord, I 
should think you'd be scared to death. 

Quimby. (Comes down l. of Magee) Mother, 
he will be if you keep on like that. Well, good night, 
sir, and good luck. (Goes up toward door, followed 
by Mrs. Quimby.) 

Magee. (Goes up to door and unlocks it) Good 
night. I don't envy you your trip down the moun- 
tain on a night like this. (Opens door. Wind ef- 
fect.) 

Mrs. Quimby. Good night, sir. (Starts through 
door, followed by Quimby, carrying lantern.) 

Magee. Good night, Mrs. Quimby. Keep a sharp 
lookout for ghosts and hermits. (Laughs.) 

Mrs. Quimby. (Outside) Lord, don't remind 
me, please! 

Magee. (Slams door quickly, locks it, waves his 
hand to the Quimbys, then stands looking at key in 
his hand) The only one, eh? Humph, we'll see! 
(Puts key in his pocket, looks around room, thinks, 
then claps his hands as if decided on something; 
grabs his coat and hat from chair near fire, extin- 
guishes lamps and bracket lights, takes a last look 
around room, and then exits upstairs into room r. on 
balcony.) 

(Black Drop down for ten seconds. End of Pro- 
logue. Drop up for Act I. The clock strikes 
twelve. The sound of a typewriter is heard 
clicking from the room occupied by Magee. A 
short pause of absolute silence, then Bland ap- 
pears at door, peering into room.) 



26 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Bland. (Opens door, enters, locks door, (hen 
comes down to c. and looks about, rubbing his hands 
and blowing on them to warm them. Sees safe, goes 
up to it, tries the door, opens it, and goes down r. As 
he starts for 'phone he sees fire burning, and stops 
dead.) A log fire! Who the devil built that? 
(Thinks, snaps fingers, goes to 'phone and puts in 
plugs.) 287s West. Hurry it along, sister. (Ma- 
gee enters from room and stands on balcony listen- 
ing, leaving door of room open. In 'phone) Hello, 
is that you, Andy? .... This is Bland. . . . Yes, 
Baldpate. . . . Yes, damn near frozen. . . . Oh, 
awful! It's like Napoleon's tomb. ... I thought 
you said Mayor Cargan would meet me here? . . . 
No, no, I can't stay here all night ; I'd go mad. . . . 
Listen, I'll hide the money here in the safe, and meet 
him at nine o'clock in the morning and turn it over 
to him then. . . . There isn't a chance in the world 
of anything happening. . . . The money's safer here 
than any spot on earth. . . . I'll lock the safe as 
soon as I put the package in. . . . Mayor Cargan 
knows the comMnation. . . . My advice is to let 
it lay here a week. It's the last place they'll look 
for it. Besides, how could they get in ? My key to 
Baldpate is the only one in existence. (Magee, on 
balcony, takes out his key and looks at it.) They 
don't figure we'd take the chance after the other ex- 
posure. I tell you I know best. . . . I'll be back in 
town by one o'clock. . . . I've got the president's 
machine waiting at the foot of the mountain. . . . 
All right; good-bye. (Hangs up receiver, goes c, 
takes package of money from his pocket, looks at it 
and around room, then goes to safe and deposits the 
money therein. Magee starts slowly and stealthily 
downstairs. Bland closes door of safe, turns the 
handle, tries doors to sec if they are locked securely, 
then comes down to fireplace and warms himself. As 
he turns his back to the fire, he cames face to face 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 27 

with Magee, who by this time is standing e. Bland's 
hand goes to his pocket for his gun as he comes 
slowly c. to Magee.) 

Magee. (Cool and collected) Good evening — or 
perhaps I should say, good morning. 

Bland. (Keeping his hand on gun as he advances 
toward Magee) Who are you ? 

Magee. I was just about to put that question to 
you. 

Bland. What are you doing here? 

Magee. I rather think I'm the one entitled to an 
explanation. 

Bland. Did you follow me up that mountain? 

Magee. Oh, no; I was here an hour ahead of 
you. 

Bland. How'd you get in here? 

Magee. (Points) Through that door. 

Bland. You lie! There's only one key to that 
door, and I have it right here in my pocket. 

Magee. My dear sir, I was laboring under that 
same impression until a moment ago; but as your 
key fits the lock, and my key fits the lock, there are 
evidently two keys to Baldpate instead of one. (He 
shows Bland his key.) See? 

Bland. You mean to tell me that's a key to Bald- 
pate? 

Magee. Yes. That's why I became so interested 
in your ari-ival here. I heard you telephone your 
friend just now and declare that your key was the 
only one in existence. (Laughs.) It sort of handed 
me a laugh. 

Bland. You heard what I said over the tele- 
phone ? 

Magee. Every word. 

Bland. (Pulls pistol) You don't think you're 
going to live to tell it, do you ? 

Magee. Have no fear on that score. I'm not a 
tattle-tale, nor do I intend to pry into affairs that do 



28 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

not concern me. But I should like your answering 
me one question. Where did you get your key to 
Baldpate? 

Bland. None of your damned business ! I didn't 
come here to tell you the story of my life ! 

Magee. Well, you might at least relate that por- 
tion of it that has led you to trespassing on a gentle- 
man seeking seclusion. 

Bland. Trespassing, eh? Who's trespassing, 
you or I? 

Magee. My right here is indisputable. 

Bland. Who gave you that key ? 

Magee. None of your damned business! If I 
remember rightly, that's the answer you gave me. 

Bland. (Goes slightly nearer Magee) You've 
got a pretty good nerve to talk like that with a gun 
in front of your face. 

Magee. Oh, that doesn't disturb me in the least. 
While I have never experienced this sort of thing in 
real life before, I've written so much of this melo- 
dramatic stuff and collected such splendid royalties 
from it all, that it rather amuses me to discover that 
the so-called literary trash is the real thing, after all. 
You may not believe it, but, really, old chap, I've 
written you over and over again ! (Laughs heartily 
and slaps Bland on the shoulder. The latter backs 
away after second slap. Magee sits at table, still 
laughing heartily.) 

Bland. (Up close to Magee) Say, I killed a 
man once for laughing at me. 

Magee. That's my line — I used it in "The Lost 
Limousine." Four hundred thousand copies. I'll 
bet you've read it. 

Bland. (Pointing gun) If you don't tell me who 
you are and what you're doing here, I'll kill you as 
dead as a door-nail. Come on, I mean business — 
who are you? 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 29 

Mage;e. Well, a name doesn't mean so much, so 
you may call me Mr. Smith. 

Bland. What are you? 

Magee. a writer of popular novels. 

Bland. What are you doing here? 

Magee. Trying to win a bet by completing a story 
of Baldpate in twenty-four hours. (Gets up.) A 
few more interruptions of this sort, however, and 
it's plain to be seen I'll pay the winner. (Up close 
to Bland.) You can do me a big favor, old man, 
by leaving me this place to myself for the night. I 
give you my word of honor that whatever I've seen 
or hpard shall remain absolutely sacred. 

Bland. (Sneeringly) You must think I'm an 
awful fool to swallow that kind of talk ! 

Magee. Very well, if you don't believe I'm who 
I say I am, and you doubt that I'm here for the 
reason I gave, go upstairs into that room with the 
open door — (Points to room R. on balcony. Bland 
looks up and hacks away) — and you'll find a t3rpe- 
writing machine, several pages of manuscript scat- 
tered about the floor, and a letter on the dresser 
from the owner of this inn to the caretaker, proving 
conclusively that all I've told you is the truth and 
nothing but the truth, and there you are. 

Bland. (Up close to Magee) And you're not 
in with the police? 

Magee. No. I wish I were, if the graft is as good 
as they say it is. 

Bland. You say you have a letter from the owner 
of the inn? 

Mi>kGEE. Yes. Wait a minute, and I'll get it for 
you. (Starts upstairs, but is stopped by Bland as 
he is about halfway up.) 

Bland. (Shouts) Come back ! 

Magee. (Comes down and goes to l.c.J What's 
the matter? 

Bland. (Going l-C. to Magee) I'yte been double- 



30 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

crossed before, young fellow. I'll find it if it's there. 

Magee. Oh, very well. If you prefer to get it 
yourself, why, go right along. (He turns from 
Bland. As he does so, Bland fans him for a gun. 
Magee turns, surprised; then, as he understands, he 
laughs.) You needn't be alarmed ; I never carried a 
gun in my life. 

Bland. But you keep one in your room, eh? 

Magee. If you think so, search the room. 

Bland. That's just what I'm going to do. I 
guess I'll keep you in sight, though. Go on ; I'll let 
you show me the way. 

Magee. All right. (Starts toward stairs.) If 
that's the way you feel about it, why, certainly. 
(Goes upstairs leisurely, followed by Bland, whcf 
keeps him covered. Magee starts to exit into room. 
Bland stops him.) 

Bland, (c. of balcony) Wait a minute ; I'll peek 
around that room alone first. You don't look good 
to me ; you're too damned willing. (Goes to door of 
room R. Magee steps out to r. of door.) You wait 
out here. I'll call you when I've satisfied myself 
you're not trying to spring something. 

Magee. Very well. If you don't trust me, go 
ahead. 

(Bland exits into room, keeping his eyes fixed on 
P Magee. The latter stands thinking for a mo- 
ment, then turns and slams door quickly, locks 
it, and runs downstairs to 'phone. When he is 
halfway down Bland starts hammering on 
door.) 

Bland. (Yelling and hammering on door) Open 

this door! (Hammers.) Damn you, I'll get you 
for this ! 

Magee. (At 'phone) Hello, I want to talk to the 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 31 

Asquewan police headquarters. . . . That's what I 
said, police headquarters. 

(Bland pounds on door. As Magee sits waiting for 
connection, Mary Norton appears at door. She 
unlocks it and enters, closing door. The cold 
blast of wind attracts Magee, who jumps up and 
yells:) 

Magee. Who's there ? What do you want ? 

Mary. Don't shoot ; it's all right. I'm harmless. 

Magee. How did you open that door? 

Mary. (Slightly down toward Magee) Un- 
locked it with a key, of course. 

Magee. (Half aside) My God ! 

Mary. (Comes toward Magee) If you will al- 
low me to bring my chaperon inside, I will explain 
in a moment who I am and why we're here. 

Magee. Your chaperon ! 

Mary. (Going up to door) Yes ; another per- 
fectly harmless female who has been kind enough to 
accompany me on this wild adventure. (Turns to 
Magee) I have your permission? 

Magee. (Looks up at room, r., then back at 
Mary, puzzled) Say, what the deuce is this all 
about ? 

Mary. You'll soon know. (Opens door and calls) 
All right, Mrs. Rhodes. 

(Mrs. Rhodes screams off stage, then enters and 
runs past Mary to above table l., terribly fright- 
ened.) 

Magee. What's the matter? What's happened? 
Mrs. Rhodes. (Shouting to Mary) Lock the 
door! Lock the door! 

' (Mary hutjriedly locks door.) 



32 SEVEN KE;yS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. (Crosses to Mrs. Rhodes, speaking hur- 
riedly) Tell me, please, what is it? 

Mary. (Runs down l. ta Mrs. Rhodes) What 
frightened you, Mrs. Rhodes? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Almost hysterical) A man! 

Magee. A man? 

Mary. What man? 

Mrs. Rhodes. I don't know. He appeared at 
the window above, flourishing a revolver, and then 
he jumped to the ground and started running down 
the mountain-side. 

Magee. Are you sure? 

Mrs. Rhodes. Of course I'm sure. 

Magee. Just a moment. (Turns and darts up- 
stairs, taking key from his pocket as he goes.) 

Mary. (Going r.c. with Mrs. Rhodes) Is there 
anything wrong? 

Magee. I'm beginning to think I am. (Opens 
door R. on balcony and exits.) 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Still hysterical) Why did you 
ever come here? 

Mary. (Coolly) It's all right. Don't get ex- 
cited. 

Magee. (Enters from room r. cmd comes to c. 
of balcony) The bird has flown, but he forgot this 
when he took the jump. (Points gun at women!. 
Mrs. Rhodes runs r., screaming; Mary screams and 
runs L.) Don't be alarmed ; I'm not going to shoot — 
at least, not yet. (Is on landing of stairs as he 
speaks next lines.) Now might I ask why I'm so 
honored by this midnight visit? (Snaps on bracket 
lights and comes down c.) 

Mary. (Goes l.c. to Magee) I can explain in a 
very few words. 

Magee. That will suit me immensely. My time 
is valuable. I'm losing thousands of dollars, per- 
haps, througli even tlms waste of tinie. (Looks^ gi 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 33 

Mary intently.) Be as brief as possible, please. I — 
(Stares at her.) 

Mary. Why do you stare at me so ? 

Magee. Do you believe in love at first sight ? 

(Mrs. Rhodes takes a step toward them, surprised.) 

Mary. What do you mean? 

Magee. You know, I've written about it a great 
many times, but I never believed in it before. It's 
really remarkable! (Looks from Mary to Mrs. 
Rhodes, pussled; then laughs in an embarrassed 
manner.) Oh, pardon me, you were about to ex- 
plain your visit here. 

Mary. Well, to begin with, I ('Phone rings. 

All turn and look at it.) 

Magee. (Goes to 'phone, stops buzzer, then backs 
upstage c. Mrs. Rhodes is r.c. To Mary) Will 
you be kind enough to answer that 'phone? I don't 
care to turn my back on anything but a bolted door 
to-night. (As Mary looks surprised.) If you 
please. 

Mary. Certainly. (Goes to 'phone. Mrs. Rhodes 
goes R.c, above Ma^y.) Hello! . . . What's that? 
. . . Hold the wire, please, I'll see. (Turns to Ma- 
gee.) Did you wish to talk to police headquarters? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Goes to Magee c, frightened) 
Police headquarters! 

Magee. (Crossing Mrs. Rhodes, who goes over 
to R. of table l.) Yes. (Starts, then stops and looks 
up at room R. on balcony.) But, no ; just say they 
must have made a mistake. (Backs upstage c.) 

Mary. (In 'phone) Hello! . . . No, no such 
call put in from here. Must be some mistake. That's 
all right. (Stamds up receiver and goes l. Magee 
goes to 'phone, severs connection, then comes down 
c. Mary up to him.) Then you did call poUoe 
headquarters ? 



34 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. I did. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Goes to c.) Why did you call 
police headquarters ? 

Mary. Yes, why did you call police headquar- 
ters? 

Magee. (Looks at both, puzzled, then laughs) 
You know, these are the most remarkable lot of hap- 
penings. No sooner do I get rid of one best seller, 
than along comes another dyed-in-the-wool "to-be- 
continued-in-our-next." (To Mary) You know 
there's no particular reason for my saying this, but 
I really believe I'd do anything in the world for you. 

Mary. I don't understand. 

Magee. But you promised to explain your pres- 
ence here. 

Mary. Which I fully intend to do ; but first of 
all I should like to ask you one question. 

Magee. Proceed. 

Mary. How did you get in here without this 
key ? (Shows him her key.) 

Magee. (Laughs) Oh, no, no! (Laughs.) 
You know, I'm beginning to think this whole thing 
is a frame-up. 

Mary. What do you mean? 

Magee. (Points to her key) You have the only 
key to Baldpate in existence, I suppose ? 

Mary. So I understood. 

Magee. Well, if it's any news to you, ladies, be- 
lieve me, there are more keys to Baldpate than you'll 
find in a Steinway piano. 

Mary. Then he lied ! 

Magee. Who lied? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Quickly) Remember your prom- 
ise, Mary ! (Crosses to chair in front of fire and 
sits.) 

Magee. (Follows Mrs. Rhodes -mth his eyes, 
making complete turn.) Well? 

Mary. I can't tell you his name. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 35 

Magee. Well, at least tell me your name. 

Mary. My name is Mary Norton. I do special 
stories for the "Reuton Star." 

Magee. (Surprised) In the newspaper game ? 

Mary. That's it. And this lady (Pointing 

to Mrs. Rhodes^ who is now removing her rubbers.) 
— is Mrs. Rhodes, with whom I live in Reuton, and 
who is the only other person who knows I'm here to 
do this story. 

Magee. What story? 

Mary. The story of the five-thousand-dollar 
wager you have made with a certain gentleman that 
you would write a complete novel inside of twenty- 
four hours. 

Magee. Who told you this? 

Mrs. Rhodes. Remember your promise, Mary. 

Magee. (Crosses to r.c. Mary goes l.c. Ma- 
gee looks at Mrs. Rhodes and then at Mary) You've 
made many a promise, haven't you, Mary ? I should 
certainly like to know who gave you this informa- 
tion. 

Mary. (Goes to Magee r.c.) I can tell you only 
that when the wager was made at the Forty-fourth 
street club this afternoon, a certain someone dis- 
patched the news to me at once. Believing that I 
had the only key to Baldpate, I hurried here to let 
you in, and lo and behold (Takes stage l., Ma- 
gee following her.) — I find you already at work, 
and as snug and cozy as you would be in a New 
York apartment. (Comes down r. of table, Magee 
follozving her.) Now that you know my story, I am 
going to throw myself on your mercy and ask you 
i to allow me to stay here and get the beat. I prom- 
ise you we shall not disturb you in the least. Have 
you any obections? 

' Magee. And you won't tell me who gave you the 
stbry? 

Mary. I can't. 



36 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. Nor where you got the key? 

Mrs. Rhodes. Remember your promise, Mary. 

Magee. (Turns and looks at Mrs. Rhodes anc 
then at Mary) You know, I wish you hadn'i 
brought her with you. 

Mrs. Rhodes. What! (Gets up and starts l 
toward Magee.) 

Magee. (Goes toward her as she starts up) N{ 
offense, Mrs. Rhodes. Of course I understand tha 
Mary is a very promising young woman, but wh) 
continually remind her of the fact. (Laughs apalo- 
getically.) That's just my little joke. Excuse me 
(Goes to Mary c. Mrs. Rhodes goes to window 
looking out.) Let me get this clear. Your idea ii 
to stop here and write the story of my twenty-foui 
hour task? 

Mary. With your permission. 

Magee. Well, I'll tell you. Had you put such i 
proposition up to me — (Mrs. Rhodes comes dowt 
stage to r.c. j — ^half an hour ago, I should have saic 
emphatically, no ; but since my little experience witt 
the gun-flourishing, window- jumping gentleman, I'n 
inclined to entertain the idea of a companion or two 

Mrs. Rhodes, ("r. of Magee) Who was the 
man with the gun? 

Mary. Why did he jump from the window? 

Magee. You might as well ask me why he placed 
a package of money in that safe. (Mary and Mrs 
Rhodes go up toivard safe.) Or why he telephoned 
the fact to someone else, who was to pass the word 
along to Mayor Cargan. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Turns to Magee, amazed) Mayoi 
Cargan ! 

Magee. What seems to be the trouble? 

Mary. (To Magee, c.) Mrs. Rhodes is i 
widow; Mayor Cargan a widower. Perhaps yot 
jvUl understand why the name startled her when ] 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 37 

tell you that Mrs. Rhodes is to become Mrs. Cargan 
next Sunday morning. 

Magee. Oh, indeed! (Mary goes up c, then 
doum again during next speech. Magee crosses to 
Mrs. Rhodes.) Well, congratulations, Mrs. Rhodes. 
And again I say I did not mean to offend. I am 
not accusing Mayor Cargan of any transaction, dis- 
honest or otherwise. I was merely trying to point 
out to you ladies that it has been a night of wild oc- 
currences up to now. However, if you care to take 
the risk, stay here. It won't disturb me in the least, 
and may possibly benefit this young lady in her busi- 
ness. (Goes toward Mary. Looks at his watch and 
whistles.) I've lost half an hour already, and as 
every minute means money to me right now, I'll have 
to work fast to make up for the time I've lost. (To 
Mrs. Rhodes — Mary comes down L.c.j Again I 
apologize for any mistake I may have made, Mrs. 
Rhodes. 

Mrs. Rhodes. I assure you a more honest man 
than Jim Cargan never lived. 

Magee. I sincerdy trust you're right, especially 
for your own sake. (Mrs. Rhodes sits in front of 
fire. Magee goes to Mary and takes her hand.) I 
hope the story proves a whale. I wish 

Mary. What do you wish? 

Magee. Oh, nothing — I was just thinking of 
Sunday morning. Good-night. 

Mary. Good-night. 

Magee. (As he goes up the stairs) I'd gladly 
offer you ladies my room, but it's the only one cleaned 
and heated, and I must have some comfort for this 
kind of work. (On balcony r.^ Cood-night, ladies. 

Mary and Mrs. Rhodes. Good-night. 

Magee. (Leaning over balcony) Mary — ^that's 
the sweetest name in the world. 

Mary. (Looking up at him) Thank you. 

Magee. Good-night, 



38 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Mary. Good-night. 

Magee. (A long look at Mary and then at Mrs. 
Rhodes) I still wish you hadn't brought her with 
you. Good-night. 

Mary. Good-night. 

(Magee exits into room r. on balcony, closing door.) 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Over to Mary, r.c.) You don't 
believe Jim Cargan guilty of any treachery? Tell 
me you don't, Mary. 

Mary. I don't know, Mrs. Rhodes. I told you 
of the Suburban bribe story we got last night, but I 
certainly hope the name of Cargan is kept clean, for 
both your sakes. 

Mrs. Rhodes. I can't believe he's wrong! I 
won't believe it! (Crosses to l.c.^ 

Mary. (Following Mrs. Rhodes) But if he is 
wrong, it's best you should know it now. The fates 
may have brought us here to-night to protect you; 
who knows? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Going toward safe) Money hid- 
den in that safe, he said. 

Mary. Yes, and that dovetails with the Subur- 
ban bribe story. (Both come down stage a trifle.) 
I came down here to do a special. I may get two 
sweeps with the one broom. Wouldn't that be won- 
derful? I'd be made! 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Turns upstage, looks toward door, 
and sees Peters) Great Heavens, Mary, look ! 

Mary. What is it? (Looks up at door, sees 
Peters, screams, and runs l. behind banister. Mrs. 
Rhodes screams and runs r. and hides behind chair. 
Magee enters on balcony after second scream.) 

Magee. (Looking down at women) What's 
wrong down there ? 

Mrs. Rhodes. A ghost ! 

Magee. What ! 



Seven keys to baldpate 39 

Mary. A ghost! A ghost! 

Magee. (Laughing) I'll bet you four dollars 
that's the fellow whose wife ran away with a travel- 
ing man! (Starts to come downstairs.) 

Mary and Mrs. Rhodes. (They wave Magee 
back) Ssh! 

(Magee snaps out lights. Peters unlocks the door, 
enters, locks door, then throws the sheet over 
his arm cmd comes down stage, looking from 
Mary to Mrs. Rhodes, who both come forward 
a trifle. Magee comes to l. of Peters at c.) 

Magee. I beg your pardon; but have you any 
idea just how many keys there are to this flat? 

Peters. (Ignores question) What are these wo- 
men doing here? 

Magee. How's that ? 

Peters. I don't like women. 

(Mrs. Rhodes and Mary scream and run to foot of 
stairs.) 

Magee. It's all right, ladies ; he's not a regular 
ghost. I know all about him. He's in the picture- 
postcard business. 

Peters. (Gruffly) What ! 

Magee. (To Peters) Just a minute, Bosco. 
(To ladies) If you ladies will kindly step upstairs 
into my room, I'll either kill it or cure it. (Ladies 
go up and stand on balcony.) 

Peters. (Gruffly) What? 

Magee. (To Peters) See here, that's the sec- 
ond time you've barked at me. Now don't do it 
again, do you hear? (To ladies) Go right in, 
ladies. (They exit into room R., closing door. Ma- 
gee down to Peters.) So you're the ghost of Bald- 
pate, are you ? 



4Q SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Peters. How'd you people get in here? 

Magee. (Laughs) You're not going to pull that 
"only key in existence" speech on me, are you? 

Peters. What ? 

Magee, You know there are other keys besides 
yours. 

Peters. They're all imitations. Mine's the real 
key. The old man gave it to me the day before he 
died. 

Magee. What old man? 

Peters. The father of that young scamp who 
wastes his time around those New York clubs. You 
know who I mean. 

Magee. Then you're not particularly fond of the 
present owner of Baldpate? 

Peters. I hate him and all his men friends. 

Magee. You don't like women either, you say. 

Peters. I despise them! 

Magee. How do little girls and boys strike you? 

Peters. Bah ! 

Magee. (Laughs) I can understand your wife 
now — anything in preference to you, even a traveling 
man! 

Peters. Don't mention my wife's name, or I'll — 
(Raises lantern to strike Magee.) 

Magee. (Pulls lantern out of Peters' hand) 
Now, see here, old man, if you make any more bluffs 
at me I'll take that white sheet away from you and 
put you right out of the ghost business. Haven|t 
you any better sense than to go about frightening 
little children this way? Why don't you stick to 
your own line of work? You're a hermit by trade, 
if I'm rightly informed. 

Peters. Yes, I'm a hermit, and proud of it. 

Magee. Then why don't you cut out this ghost 
stuff and be a regular hermit? 

Peters. I play the ghost because I love to see the 
cowards run. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 41 

MagEe. Oh, they're all cowards — ^is that it ? 

Peters. Cowards, yes ! (Laughs gruffly.) 

Magee. And you're a brave man, I suppose ? 

Peters. A cave man is always a brave man. 

(Pistol shots heard outside, then a woman's scream. 
Peters laughs and dances up to door and peers 
through.) 

Peters. Ha, ha ! They're shooting again ! They're 
shooting again! 

(Mary and Mrs. Rhodes have come out on balcony 
at shots.) 

Magee. (Up to door and peers through) What's 
that? 

Mary. What's happened? 

Mrs. Rhodes. Is someone hurt? (Both lean 
over balcony, looking down.) 

Magee. Did you hear a wofpan scream? 

Mary. (Frightened) Distinctly. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Frightened) And a pistol shot! 

Peters. (Dramatically, as he goes toward door l. 
slowly) A woman in white — a woman in white! 
They shot at her as they shoot at me when I play 
the ghost. (Laughs.) They thought it was the 
ghost. (Almost whispers.) Thought it was the 
ghost. (Laughs viciously and exits door L.J 

(Myra Thornhill appears at door c. and is seen 
unlocking it.) 

Magee. (Runs to foot of stairs and calls up to 
women) My God, another key ! 

Mary and Mrs. Rhodes. What? 

Magee. Ssh! It's a woman! (He waves tkem 
bafk.) Ssh ! 



42 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

(Mary and Mrs. Rhodes go back into room R. Ma- 
gee crouches behind banister, unseen by Myra 
until he speaks. Myra enters, locks doors, then 
tiptoes cautiously to dead c. She takes a sweep- 
ing glance around, then goes to fire and warms 
herself; comes to c. again, and on making sure 
that no one is in the room, she goes to safe and 
starts working combination, first picking up lan- 
tern from desk and holding it in her left hand, 
while working combination with her right.) 

Magee. (Snapping on bracket lights) I thought 
I'd give you a little more light so you could work 
faster. (Myra puts lantern on desk and throws up 
her hands.) You needn't throw up your hands; I'll 
take a chance on that quick stuff. Come on out here, 
please. (Laughs as Myra com,es around desk r. to 
c. slowly.) I didn't think they did that sort of thing 
outside of melodrama and popular novels, but I see 
I was wrong, or I should say right, when I wrote it. 
(Myra continues to advance to him slowly.) Really, 
you're the most attractive burglar I've ever seen. 
That is, if you are a burglar. Are you? 

Myra. (Coolly) Are you one of the Cargan 
crowd, or do you represent the Reuton Suburban 
people 



? 



(Mary and Mrs. Rhodes enter, on balcony and 
listen.) 

Magee. No, I'm just an ordinary man trying to 
win a bet ; but up to now the chances have been dead 
against me. Perhaps you'd like to tell me who you 
are. 

Myra. I will, if you'll answer me one question. 

Magee. (Laughs) Of course, of course. I'll an- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 43 

swer that one before you ask it. A friend of mine 
gave it to me. Of course you thought you had the 
only one in existence, but he lied to you. I have a 
cute little key of my own. Oh, there are keys and 
keys, but I love my little key best of all. (Shows 
her his key, kissing it.) See? 

Myra. I can't understand it at all. 

Magee. You haven't anything on me. And just 
about two more keys, and I'll pack up my parapher- 
nalia, go back to New York, and never make another 
bet as long as I live ! 

Myra. (Up close to him) Will you please tell me 
your name ? 

Magee. Well, a name doesn't mean so much, so 
you may call me Mr. Jones. And yours? 

Myra. My name is (Hesitates. Mary and 

Mrs. Rhodes lean over balcony, listening.) Listen ! 
(Brings Magee downstage.) My husband is the 
president of the Asquewan-Reuton Suburban Rail- 
way Company. He has agreed to pay a vast amount 
of money for a certain city franchise; a franchise 
that the political crowd at Reuton has no power to 
grant. They are going to cheat him out of this money 
and use it for campaign funds to fight ■tiie opposition 
party at the next election. If he sues for his money 
back, they are going to expose him for entering into 
an agreement he knows to be nothing short of brib- 
ery. The present mayor is at the bottom of it all. 
(Mary and Mrs. Rhodes start at mention of mayor's 
name.) I ran to my husband to-night and begged 
him not to enter into this deal. I warned him that 
he was being cheated. He wouldn't believe me, but 
I know it's true. He's being cheated, and will be 
charged with bribery besides. That's why I risked 
the mountain on a night like this. I must have been 
followed, for I was shot at as I reached the top of 
Baldpate. Oh, I don't know who you are, but you're 



44 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

a man and you can help me. (Puts her hands on 
his shoulders, pleadingly.) You will help me, won't 
you? 

Magee. (Interested) Yes. What do you want 
me to do? 

Myra. (Looks at Magee for a moment without 
speaking, then goes up to safe and back to Magee) 
In that safe there is a package containing two hun- 
dred thousand dollars. 

Magee. (Goes up toward safe) Two himdred 
thousand dollars! 

(Mary omc? Mrs. Rhodes start dovmstairs very 
slowly.) 

Myra. (Following Magee up R.) That's the 
amount. It must be there. A man named Bland 
was to bring it here and deposit it at midnight. Car- 
gan was to follow later, and was to find it here. 

Magee. (Coming down stage) Cargan coming 
here! 

Myra. So they've planned it. I must have that 
money out of there before he arrives. You'll help 
me, won't you? Don't you understand? My hus- 
band is being cheated, tricked, robbed, probably 
ruined. 

Magee. But I don't know the combination. 

Myra. (Wrinping her hands) Oh, there must 

be something we can do ! Please, please (She 

kneels at his feet and puts up her hands imploringly.) 
For the sake of my children, help me, please! (Ma- 
gee sees -women on stairs, and warns Myra with a 
look as he helps her to her feet. She turns and faces 
Mary and Mrs. Rhodes, then turns abruptly to 
Magee.) Who are these women? What are they 
doing here? (She has changed from hysteria to dig- 
nified coldness.) 

Magee. Oh, of course, pardon me! (Goes to 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 45 

women at foot of stairs. Myra crosses to Vi.) May 
I introduce Miss 

Myra. (Cuts him off sharply) Please don't! 
(Turns to women.) Will you pardon me for a mo- 
ment, ladies? 

Mary and Mrs. Rhodes. Certainly. (They step 
off stairs and remain "l., keeping their eyes fixed on 
Myra and Magee. Magee goes r. to Myra.) 

Myra. (Aside to Magee) For God's sake, don't 
tell them who I am. My husband will kill me if he 
ever learns that I've been here on such an errand. 

Magee. (Aside) I understand; you may trust 
me. I sympathize with you very deeply, Madam, 
and I promise you that no one shall take that money 
away from here to-night unless it be yourself. And 
I'll get it out of that safe if I have to blow the thing 
to smithereens! 

Myra. You give me your word as a gentleman? 

Magee. (Offers his hand) My word as a gentle- 
man. 

Myra. (Takes his hand) Thank you. 

Magee. (Pulls down his vest and goes up to 
Mary and Mrs. Rhodes) Ladies, I wish to present 
a girl schoolmate of mine. Miss Brown, who has be- 
come interested enough in my career to find her way 
to Baldpate to witness my endeavor to break all rec- 
ords as a speedy story-writer. 

Mary md Mrs. Rhodes. Miss Brown, (Both 
bow. Myra returns the how.) 

Magee. (Takes out his watch and looks at it) 
Up to now I'm almost an hour behind myself. How- 
ever, I expect to catch up with myself before the 
night is over. That is, of course, provided there 
aren't over three hundred more keys to the old front 
door. 

Mary. (Goes up to Magee c.) Now, might I 
have a word with you alone ? 



46 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. I'd be delighted. I'd like to be alone 
with you forever. 

Mary. (To Myea) Will you pardon me for a 
moment ? 

Myra. Certainly. 

Magee. Go right upstairs. Miss Brown, and make 
yourself quite at home. (Starts toward stairs with 
Myra.) Oh, Mrs. Rhodes, will you be good enough 
to show her to the room? (Mary crosses c. to R.) 
I'm sure she needs a little drop of something after 
that bitter cold trip up the mountain. You'll find 
a flask on the table. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Starts up the stairs) Come right 
along, Miss. I know where it is ; I've already tried 
it. (Exits room R.j 

Myra. (Following Mrs. Rhodes upstairs) Well, 
really, I don't know what to say to all this kindness. 

I (Stops c. on balcony, looks down and warns 

Magee to silence with finger on ker lips. He reas- 
sures her, then goes c.) 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Appearing at door) Right in 
here. Miss. 

Myra. Thanks, awfully. (Exits into room, fol- 
lowed by Mrs. Rhodes, who closes door.) 

Mary. (Goes quickly to Magee at c.) Who did 
that woman clain^^to be? 

Magee. That's a secret I've promised never to 
reveal. 

Mary. But I overheard everything she said. 

Magee. Then you know. 

Mary. I know she lied. 

Magee. She lied ! 

Mary. She claimed to be the wife of Thomas 
Hayden, president of the Suburban Railway. She 
lied, I tell you. Why, I've known Mrs. Hayden all 
my life ; was brought up and went to school with her 
daughters. Mrs. Hayden is a woman in her fifties. 
You can see for yourself that she is nothing more 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 47 

than a slip of a girl. There's a mystery here of 
some kind — someone's playing a desperate game. 
(Goes upstage excitedly, looking up at door R.j 

Magee. Yes, and it's costing me five thousand 
dollars. I'll never get my work done to-night, I 
can see that right now. (Looks at watch. Mary 
comes down c.) But what do I care ? I've met you ! 

Mary. You're going to give this money over to 
that woman ? 

(Peters enters from l. and hides behind banisters.) 

Magee. Not if she lied. 

Mary. Well, you believe me, don t you ? 

Magee. (Takes her hand) Believe you ! Let me 
tell you something, little girl. I've written a lot of 
those Romeo speeches in my novels, though I never 
really felt this way before, but here goes : The mo- 
ment yooi walked through that door to-night and I 
laid eyes on you, I made up my mind that you were 
the one woman in the world for me. Why, there's 
nothing I wouldn't do for you. Try me. 

Mary. Very well, I shall. Get me that package 
of money out of that safe before Cargan comes to 
steal it. Help me to reach Reuton without being 
molested, and I'll annihilate the graft machine with 
to-morrow's edition of the "Star." With that money 
to turn over to the proper authorities as proof of the 
deal, I'll wipe out the street car trust and the Cargan 
crowd with one swing of the pen. And just think, 
I'll save Mrs. Rhodes from an alliance with a thief! 
I know Cargan's crooked, always has been; but I 
must prove it before she'll break off the engagement. 
Great Scott ! what a story I'll write ! Think what it 
will mean to me and to the city of Reuton itself! 
(Puts her hands on his shoulders pleadingly.) You 
will do this for me, won't you ? Please, please ! 

Magee. Yes. What do you want me to do ? 



48 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Mary. Come, we must hurry ! Can't you think 
of some way to open that safe? (Goes up toward 
safe, Magee following. He comes down c.) ^ 

Magee. What are we going to do? We don t 
know the combination, and I haven't any dynamite. 
But we must have that $2CX),ooo. 

' (Peters moves chair just enough to betray his pres- 
ence.) 

Mary. (Comes down to Magee, frightened, plac- 
ing her hand on his arm) What was that ? 

Magee. Oh, that was nothing. It was just the 
wind creeping through the cracks, I fancy. (Aside) 
Go upstairs; there's someone hiding in this room. 
(Aloud) Good-night, Miss Norton. 

Mary. Good-night. (She hurries upstairs and 
exits into room, r.) 

(Magee looks around room for a moment, reaches 
over banisters and snaps out lights; starts 
whistling, and then goes upstairs to l. room on 
balcony, opens door, slams it loudly, and then 
comes out and sits behind banisters, watching 
Peters. Peters m^akes sure no one is in sight, 
then goes quickly over to safe and starts work- 
ing combination quietly, but hurriedly, Magee 
watching him from stairs. Cargan and Max 
appear outside, peering through into room,. As 
the safe door flies open, they enter quickly, Car- 
gan opening the door. Max enters and goes 
quickly up c. and covers Peters with gun. 
Cargan closes door and goes quickly to Peters.^ 

i Max. Get away from that safe ! (Peters /«»«/>.? 
o away.) Put up your hands! (Peters' hands go 
up.) 

Cargan. (Recognizes him as he goes toward safe) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 49 

Oh, it's you, is it? (To Max) The ghost came 
near walking that time for fair! (To Peters) 
Come out of there! (Peters comes in front of 
desk.) How did you know the combination of that 
safe? (No reply from Peters.) Who told you 
there was money in there ? (No reply from Peters.) 
Get out of here, you vagabond! (Throws Peters 
toward i,.) What do you mean by breaking into a 
man's safe in the middle of the night? Throw him 
in the cellar. Max. 

Max. Come on, hurry up! Get out! (Throws 
Peters l,.) 

Peters. (At door i,.) Damn you, Cargan, I hate 
you! 

Cargan. Get out ! (Goes up and locks door.) 

Max. Go on, get out! 

(Peters exits l. door. Max follows him off and 
returns almost immediately.) 

Cargan. (Goes to safe and gets package of 
maney. Max enters.) By gad, we weren't any too 
soon ! (Goes to table l. j Another moment, and he'd 
have had it sure. It would be good-bye to the hermit 
if he ever got hold of a roll like this ! (Flips bills 
in his hands.) Two hundred one thousand dollar 
bills. 

Max. Is it all there? 

Cargan. I don't know; I'll see. (Magee comes 
downstairs and goes behind desk while Max and 
Cargan are counting money.) You seem surprised 
that I found the money here. 

Max. What do you mean — surprised? 

Cargan. (Rises, puts money in his pocket, then 
comes in front of table. Max comes forward and 
stands l. of Cargan, below table.) I'm going to tell 
you something. Max. I didn't trust you all day, 
and I didn't trust you to-night. 



so SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Max. What do you mean — ^you didn't trust me? 

Cargan. I'll be truthful with you. I thought 
you were going to double cross me. I thought you 
were going to beat me to the bankroll through this 
woman Thornhill. 

Max. Myra Thornhill? 

Cargan. Yes, Myra Thornhill. Oh, don't play 
dead ; you knew she was around. You've had secret 
meetings with her during the last forty-eight hours. 
I know every move you've made — I've had you 
watched. You've worked with her before. (As 
Max makes a motion of protest.) You've told me 
so. I had my mind made up to kill you. Max, if 
this money had been gone, and that's just what I'm 
going to do if you ever double cross me, do you un- 
derstand ? 

Max. (In a hangdog tone) Yes, I vmderstand. 

(Magee, who has been crouching between safe and 
desk, now stands up, takes aim, and fires at l. 
wall, then rushes over and turns on bracket 
lights. At the sound of the shot the womeri, 
come out on balcony, frightened, and stand look- 
ing down at men.) 

Cargan. (As Magee shoots) My God, I'm shot ! 
(Reels against table. Max draws hack l.) 

Magee. (Comes down r.c.J No, you're not. I 
just put a bullet into the wall, and I'll put one in 
you if you don't toss that package of money over 
here! Come on, hurry up! I mean business! 
(Cargan hesitates, then throws money to Magee 
R.C. The latter picks it up and puts it in his pocket.) 
You see, being a writer of sensational novels, I'm 
well up in this melodramatic stuf5f. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (On balcony, watching Cargan) 
Jim Cargan! 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 51 

Cargan. (He and Max look up and see women 
on balcony) What are you doing here? (Mrs. 
Rhodes doesn't reply, but continues staring at him.) 

Myra, (Looking down at Max) Max, Max, 
are you hurt? 

Max. No ; I'm all right. 

Cargan. (Turning slowly to Max) Myra 
Thornhill, eh? So you were trying to cross me, 
you snake! (Chokes Max. Women scream.) 

Magee. I must insist upon orderly conduct, gen- 
tlemen. No roughhouse, please. (To Max) Young 
man, be good enough to put that gun of yours on the 
table. (Max hesitates.) Hurry now. (Max does 
as directed.) Now kindly remove that gun from Mr. 
Cargan's pocket — I'm sure he has one — and put it 
on the table also. He might want to take a shot at 
you, and I'm giving you the necessary protection. 
Hurry, please. 

(Max taJies Cargan's gun and places it on table.) 

\ Magee. Now, Mrs. Rhodes, will you kindly ask 
i the street car president's wife to step back into that 
\ room, then lock the door and remove the key? 
\ \ (Myra goes slowly to room r. Mrs. Rhodes fol- 
lows her, locks the door, then comes to c. of bal- 
cony.) Thank you. And now, Miss Norton, will 
you kindly step down here — (Mary starts down- 
stairs and hangs muff on chair L.) — ^and take those 
two revolvers from the table and place them in the 
hotel safe, and then close the safe and turn the com- 
bination? (Mary places guns in safe, turns combi- 
nation, and remains up near desk.) Thank you very 
much. (To men) Now, gentlemen, I must insist 
that you step upstairs to the room on the right of 
the balcony. And, Mrs. Rhodes, will you please step 
over there and lock the door when these gentlemen 
are on the other side? (Mrs. Rhodes crosses bal- 



52 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

cony, goes to room l., unlocks door, and stands aside 
for the men to pass in.) I shan't keep you there 
long, gentlemen; I'll release you as soon as I've 
transacted some important business with this young 
lady. Lively, now, gentlemen! Lively! (As m£n 
start upstairs slowly.) That's it! Now to your 
right. Correct! Now straight ahead. (Max exits 
into room. Cargan stops as he gets to door, and 
turns and looks appealingly at Mrs. Rhodes, who 
ignores his outstretched hands.) Now right in. 
(Cargan exits into room i..) Lock the door, Mrs. 
Rhodes, and bring the keys down to me. (Mrs. 
Rhodes locks door and brings keys to Magee at c.) 
That's the ticket! Thanks, very much. (Mary 
comes to c.) Well, how's my work? Some round- 
up, wasn't it? (To Mrs. Rhodes) I'm awfully 
sorry about this, for your sake, Mrs. Rhodes. 

Mary. (To Magee, r. of him) It's best she 
should know. (To Mrs. Rhodes, extending her 
hand.) Isn't it, dear? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Going r.c., after taking Mary's 
hand) I suppose so, dear, I suppose so. 

Magee. Well, come on, little girl! You've got 
to work fast. Here's the graft money. (Takes 
money from his pocket and gives it to Mary.) Now 
what? 

Mary. I've everything planned. I know just 
what I'm going to do. What's the time? 

Magee. (Looking at watch) One-thirty. But 
you can't get a train out of Asquewan until five. 

(Mary crosses to L., gets muff, and places m,oney 
in it.) 

Mrs. Rhodes. We can't sit around the station for 
three hours, dear. (Mary returns l.c. to Magee.) 

Magee. Try to get a taxi, or whatever sort of 
conveyance they have in the darned town ; but what- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 53 

ever you do, get out of Asquewan as soon as yor 
can. 

Mary. You leave it to me ; I'll find a way. Are 
you going to stay here ? 

Magee. (Looks up at room r. and l.) Ill have 
to. I want to keep guard on this crowd of lady and 
gentleman bandits until I'm sure you're well on your 
way. I'll keep them here until you 'phone and tell 
me you're out of danger, even though it's all night 
to-night and all day to-morrow. 

Mary. But your work ? 

Magee. Never mind the work ; I can write a novel 
any old time. So far as the bet is concerned, I can 
lose that and still be repaid a million times over — 
I've met you. (Takes her hand, then crosses to 
Mrs. Rhodes. Mary goes up c.) Good-night, 
Mrs. Rhodes, and God bless you both ! 

Mrs. Rhodes. Good-night. (Shakes hands with 
MageEj then starts for door and stands looking up 
at door l. on balcony.) 

Magee. (To Mary, near door) I wonder if we'll 
ever meet again ? 

Mary. I live in Reuton — ^good-night. (Turns 
up near foot of stairs and looks up at door l. Mrs. 
Rhodes exits.) 

Magee. Good-night. (Mary comes to door Ma- 
gee is holding open. She pauses for a moment, looks 
at him intently, then down at floor, then exits quickly. 
Magee locks door, stands peering out at them for a 
moment, looks up at door L., then comes down stage 
and stands thinking.) Crooked politicians — adven- 
turess — safe robbed— love at first sight ! (Points to 
different rooms and at safe.) And I wanted to get 
away from melodrama! (Hears Hayden at door, 
and backs away to foot of stairs.) And still they 
come! 

(Hayden enters, locks doors, puts key in his pocket, 



54 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

takes off gloves, rubs his hands and nose trying 
to warm them, then comes down to fireplace and 
stands with his back to the fire. As he turns he 
comes face to face with Magee, who has come 
to c. He goes to Magee slowly.) 

Hayden. I beg pardon, but who are you? 

Magee. (c.) I'm Mayor Cargan's butler. 

Hayden. Mayor Cargan! 

Magee. Yes, he's here. Do you wish to see him ? 

Hayden. (Importantly) Yes. Say to him that 
Mr. Hayden of the Reuton-Asquewan Suburban 
Road, is calling. 

Magee. Oh, I see! Are you the president of 
that road, sir ? 

Hayden. (Pompously) I most certainly am, sir. 

Magee. (Looks at Hayden, and then up at room 
R. and laughs) Your wife's here. 

Hayden. What ! 

Magee. Yes ; locked in that room up there. (Ma- 
gee points to room r. on balcony. Hayden turns< 
and looks up. As he turns, Magee fans him for 
gun. Hayden turns to Magee quickly, sputtering.) 
Pardon me, I just wanted to see if you had a gun on 
you. Just a minute ; I'll tell the mayor the president 
has arrived. (Starts upstairs, laughing.) 

Hayden. (When Magee is on first landing) Are 
you a crazy man, sir? 

Magee. That's what the critics say, but I'm be- 
ginning to think they are all wrong. Sit down, Mr. 
Hayden. I'll tell the boys you're here. (Unlocks 
door L. and steps aside.) ^^ 

Hayden. The boys! 

Magee. Come on, boys; everything's all right; 
the president's here. (As men come down, Hayden 
steps forward toward stairs.) Watch your step. 
Easy, that's it ; one at a time, please. Lead on, boys. 
I'll walk a little behind. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 55 

(Cargan and Max come downstairs, followed by 
Magee^ who covers them with gun. As men 
get to foot of stairs, Hayden backs away, thun- 
derstruck. Max goes to table l. Magee goes 
over R. Cargan comes down to Hayden c.) 

Cargan. (Gruffly) Hello, Hayden. 

Hayden. What is the meaning of this, Cargan? 

Cargan. I don't know. Ask him. (Nods toward 
Magee.) 

Hayden. (To Cargan) Who is he? 

Cargan. I don't know, and I don't care a damn ! 
I'm disgusted with the whole works. We're nailed, 
that's all I know. (Sits r. of table L. Peters en- 
ters from door l. On seeing crowd of men, he starts 
to back out, but is stopped by Magee.) 

Magee. No, you don't! Come back here. I'll 
keep my eye on you, too. You'd better sit down and 
join the boys, Hermy. (Peters sits L. of table.) 

Hayden. (Up to Magee, who is R.c.j I'd very 
much like to know the reason for such strange ac- 
tions, young man? 

Magee. Your wife will be down in a minute; 
s'he'll probably tell you all about it. 

Hayden. Confound it, sir, my wife is home in 
bed! 

Magee. That's what you think. (Laughs.) 
You're not the first fellow that's been fooled, you 
know. (Hayden backs away from, Magee. Ma- 
gee throws key to Peters.) Here, Hermy; take 
that key and open the first door to the left on the 
balcony, and tell Mr^ Hayden that her husband 
wants to see her downstairs right away. (As Peters 
hesitates) Hurry along, that's a good ghost — go on. 
(Peters, mad all through, does as he is told, picking 
up the key from floor and going upstairs.) Better 
sit down, boys, and make yourselves comfortable. 
JVe're liable to have quite a wait. 



S6: SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

(Max sits l. of table. Magee goes up rJ 

Hayden. Well, I'll be running along. 

Magee. (Stops Hayden as he starts for door) 
Better stay a while, Mr. Hayden ; I'd like to have 
your wife meet you. I don't think she's ever had 
the pleasure. 

(Myra awj Petees enter on balcony and start down- 
stairs.) 

■Hayden. (Down to Cargan, r. of table) What 
the devil sort of a man is this? 

(Bland knocks on door. All jump and look up- 
stage.) 

Magee. Well, here's a novelty at last — a man with- 
out a key. 

Hayden. It's Bland. I have his key ; I'll let him 
in. (Starts for door.) 

Magee. Don't bother. I have a dandy little key 
of my own ; I'll let him in. (Opens door, keeping 
all (overed. Hayden goes over R.j 

Bland. (Enters as Magee unlocks door, the lat- 
ter keeping him covered. Bland comes down r. to 
Hayden. Men all sit as Bland enters. Bland to 
Hayden) What's the matter, Guv'nor? 

Hayden. I don't know. 

Bland. (Goes to Magee, l.c, as he recognises 
him) That's him, the man I told you about. He 
locked me in ! 

Magee. Oh, hello! Are you back again? I 
thought you jumped out of town. 

Bland. (Over to Cargan at fable — Magee goes 
over R.C.J Did you get it all right? 

Cargan. No ; he's got it. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 57 

Bland. What? (Rushes over to Magee.) Give 
me that money! 

_ Magee. (Covering Bland with gun) Say, I 
killed a man once for hollering at me. (Bland backs 
away to l. Peters comes downstairs to l. above 
table. To Myra, as she advances slowly to c.) Ah, 
here we are! Mr. Hayden, although I think you 
are getting a shade the best of it, this young lady 
claims to be your wife. 

Hayden. What! ('Owr fo Myra, c.) You claim 
what? 

Myra. Go on, holler your head off, grandpa ! (As 
she strolls languidly over r. to fireplace.) It's music 
to my ears to hear an old guy squawk. (Sits in 
chair in front of fire. Hayden goes to Bland, l.c.) 

Bland. (Waves Hayden away. Hayden goes 
upstage. Bland crosses to Magee, r.c.) What are 
you going to do with that money ? 

Magee. (Goes up around Bland and up r.c, keep- 
ing all covered) I haven't got the money. (All 
turn and look at him in dmuzement.) It's on its 
way to Reuton. Miss Norton will see that it is placed 
in safe and proper hands directly she arrives at the 
office of the "Reuton Daily Star." 

Cargan. The "Daily Star !" We're gone ! (To 
Magee) Where did Mrs. Rhodes go? 

Magee. Out of your life forever, Cargan; she's 
got your number. (Cargan lowers his head with- 
out speaking. Pause, then Magee gets chair for 
Bland and places it r.c.) Sit down there. (Bland 
pays no attention.) Did you hear me ? Sit ! (Bland 
sits slowly and sulkily.) Sit down, Hermy. Come 
on, that's a nice ghost, go on. (Peters sits above 
table. Magee places chair for Hayden.) Sit down, 
Hayden. 

Hayden. I don't care to sit down, sir. 

Magee. Do as you're told; sit down. 

Hayden. Confound it, sir, do you know that I'm 



S8 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

the president of the Reuton-Asquewan Railway- 
Company ? 

Magke. I wouldn't care if you were president of 
the National League. Sit down! (Kaydkn sits, in- 
dignant. Magee sits in chair, front of smtchboard, 
facing all and covering them with gun.) Now we're 
all going to stay right here till that 'phone bell rings 
and I get word that Miss Norton is safe and sound 
in Reuton. That may mean three hours or it may 
mean six hours; but we're all going to stay right 
here together, no matter how long it takes; so get 
comfortable and sit as easy as you can. (All move 
uneasily.) 

Cargan. (To Max, after a pause) So you tried 
to cross me, eh? The chances are I'll kill you for 
this. 

Bland. (After a pause, looking at Hayden) I'm 
afraid I made a mistake in bringing you up here, 
Guv'nor. 

Hayden. (After a slight pause) You're always 
making mistakes, you damned blockheaded fool! 

Max. (After a pause) I'm sorry I got you into 
this, Myra. (No reply from her.) Oh, Myra, I say 
I'm sorry I got you into this. 

Myra. (Turns and looks at Max) Oh, go to 
hell! 

Peters. (After a slight pause) I hope to God 
you're all sent to prison for life ! 

Magee. (After a pause) This is going to be a 
nice, pleasant little party; I can see that right now. 
(After three counts, ring curtain.) 

SLOW CURTAIN 



ACT II 



The curtain rises on the same situation. 

After curtain is up, there is silence for about six sec- 
onds, then the clock is heard striking Two. 

Hayden takes out his watch and looks at it. All| 
squirm and look at each other impatiently. 

Magee. Two o'clock. We've been sitting here 
over twenty minutes already. Say, Hermy, you'd 
better put another log on the fire. (Peters crosses 
to fireplace, puts a log on the fire, looks closely at 
Myra in front qf fireplace, then goes back to for- 
mer position and sits.) I think someone ought to 
say something. Come on, let's start a conversation. 
Things are getting awfully dull. 

Hayden. (Gets up after a short pause and goes 
toward Magee) This is all damned nonsense! I 
refuse to stay here another minute. 

Magee. (Coolly, and without moving) Sit down, 
Hayden. I'm very sorry to inconvenience you in 
this way, but it's necessary that you should stay .here 
and keep us company; so sit down before I shoot 
you down! That's a good little president. (Hay- 
den sits sulkily.) That's it. Now, let me see, what 
can we talk about to kill the monotony and keep 
things sort of lively ? I have it ! Let's all tell each 
other where we got our keys to Baldpate. (All move 
uneasily.) What do you think of the idea? (No 
reply.) No? Well, I'll start the ball rolling, then 
perhaps we'll all 'fess up. I brought a letter from 
the man who owns the inn to the caretaker, giving 
him instructions to turn the key over to me. That's 

59 



6o SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

how I got mine. Next? (Pause. No one speaks.) 
No? Big secrets, eh? (Laughs.) By George! 
that's funny. Let's see, how many keys are there? 
I had the first, Bland the second. Miss Norton the 
third, our friend the ghost the fourth, this young 
lady had the fifth, and, if I'm not mistaken, you had 
the sixth key, Mr. Cargan. Hayden doesn't count — 
he had Bland's key. Six keys to Baldpate so far. I 
wonder if there are any more. 

Peters. (After a pause) There are seven keys 
to Baldpate. (All turn and look at Peters in sur- 
prise.) 

Magee. Seven ! How do you know ? 

Peters. The old man told me the day before he 
died. Mine's the original — all the others are imita- 
tions. (All turn from him in disgust.) 

Magee. Seven keys, eh? More company ex- 
pected. More melodrama, I suppose. Where did 
you get your key. Bland? 

Bland and Magee. (Together) None of your 
damned business! 

Magee. (Laughs) I knew you were going to say 
that. How about you, Mr. Cargan? Perhaps you'U 
be good enough to throw some light on the key sub- 
ject. Where did you get yours ? 

Cargan. I wouldn't tell you if my life was at 
stake. 

Magee. Well, perhaps the young lady will be 
good enough to inform me where her key came from? 
(All turn and look at Myra.) 

^ Myra. (Turns and faces men) I've no objec- 
tions. 

Max. (Pleadingly) Myra, please ! 

Myra. (Pointing to Max) He gave the key to 
me. (All turn and look at Max.) 

Cargan. (To Max) Where did you get a key 
to Baldpate? 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 6i 

Max. I can't tell you, Mr. Mayor; I've sworn 
never to tell. 

Caegan. (To Myea) I suppose he also gave 
you the combination to the safe. 

Myra. He did. 

Max. (Pleadingly) Myra ! 

Myea. Oh, shut up! You never were anything 
but a cry baby ! You've got me into a pretty mess ! 
Do you think I'm going to sit here like a fool and 
not pay you back when I've got the chance to do it? 
(Gets up and faces men. They ail stare at her.) I'll 
tell you the whole scheme. I was to come here and 
make off with the package, and Cargan was to fol- 
low and find it gone. We were to meet to-morrow 
jmd divide the money equally. 

Caegan. (Turns on Max) You rat! (Max 
turns from Caegan in hangdog fashion.) 

Myra. His excuse to Cargan for the disappear- 
ance of the money was going to be to accuse Bland 
of never having put it there. (Points to Bland at 
mention of his name.) 

Bland. What ! (Starts toward h.) 

Magee. Sit down, Bland. (Bland hesitates, then 
sits.) 

Bland. (Turning to Hayden) Do you hear 
that, Guv'nor ? He was going to accuse me of steal- 
ing the money. 

Caegan. (To Max) You mark my words, I'm 
going to kill you for this ! 

Bland. (To Cargan) Where did you get a key 
to Baldpate, Cargan ? You told me you couldn't get 
in here unless I met you and unlocked the door. 

(Caegan looks embarrassed, but does not reply.) 

Myea. I can explain that. (All look toward her.) 
He was to meet you here to-morrow morning at nine 
o'clock. Am I right? 



62 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Bland. That's right; I made the appointment 
over the 'phone. 

Myra. Well, the plan was to steal in here in the 
dead of night and take the money. He fully in- 
tended to keep his appointment here to-morrow 
morning, however, and appear just as much sur- 
prised as you would have been when you discovered 
the safe empty and the package gone. In other 
words, he was going to cross not only you, but Hay- 
den and everyone else connected with the bribe. He 
tried to cross you — (Points to Bland.) — ^and Lou 
Max tried to double cross him. (Points to Car- 
GAN. Laughs and sits.) If I hadn't been inter- 
rupted by our friend here — (Nods her head in Ma- ; 
gee's direction) — I'd have gotten the money and^ 
triple crossed the whole outfit! 

Bland and Hayden. What ! 

Myra. Yes, that was my intention. Scruples are 
a joke when one is dealing with crooks ? 

Cargan. (Starts up) Who's a crook? 

Magee. Sit down, Cargan. 

Cargan. (Infuriated) Do you think I'll stand 
to be 

Magee. (Sternly) Sit down, I tell you! I'm 
the school-teacher here. Be a good little mayor and 
sit down. (Cargan sits.) 

Myra. (Sneeringly, after a slight pause) Why, 
you're not even clever crooks. You trusted Max, 
and Max trusted me. (Laughs.) A fine chance 
either one of you had if ever I had gotten hold of 
that money! 

Hayden. (To Bland, after thinking a moment) 
Who is this woman? 

Bland. I don't know. 

Cargan. (Turns to Hayden) Her name is 
Thornhill. Don't believe a word she says, Hayden; 
her oath isn't worth a nickel. She's a professional 
blackmailer, pure and sinqjle. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 63 

Hayden. (To Myra) Is this true? 

Myra. I never heard of a pure and simple black- 
mailer, did you ? (Laughs.) So far as my word is 
concerned, I fancy it will carry as much weight as 
the word of a crooked politician or the word of his 
man "Friday," whom he knows to be an ex-convict. 

Max. (Starts up) What ! 

Magee. Sit down, Maxy; it's just getting good. 
(Max slinks into his chair.) 

Hayden. (To Bland, who looks at him) Fine 
people you've introduced me to, you lunk-headed 
idiot ! 

Bland. Well, what are you blaming me for? 
You wanted the deal put through, didn't you ? After 
this you can do your own crooked work. I'm not 
anxious to get mixed up in a thing of this kind. 
You've got a fine nerve to go after me. 

Hayden. (Gets up) How dare you talk to your 
employer in such a manner ! 

Bland. Oh, sit down! (Hayden sits.) What 
do you think I care for this job? I told you to stay 
out of the deal — that it w&s wrong. You know well 
enough that it's only cheating the city of Reuton out 
of its rights. If this thing ever comes to light, we're 
all lucky if we don't spend five or six years in a 
stone yard! I tell you right now, if it comes to a 
show-down, I'm going to make a clean breast of the 
whole affair. I don't care who I send away, so long 
as I can save myself. You needn't think you can 
get me in a fix like this and have me keep my mouth 
shut. No, sir; I'm going to tell the truth, and I 
don't care a damn who suffers, so long as I get away. 

Myra. (Laughs) One of our best little squeal- 
ers! 

Bland. (To Myra) Well, you squealed, didn't 
you? 

Myra. Sure^, I'm with you, Cutey ! I'm going to 



64 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

scream my head off all over the place. (All show 
alarm.) 

Cargan. (To Max, after a pause) So you tried 
to cross me, eh ? 

Max. Certainly I tried to cross you. Why 
shouldn't I ? You're around crossing everybody, ain't 
you? (Rises.) I've stood for your loud talk long 
enough, Cargan. I've been wanting to call you for 
the last two years. You're a great big bluff, that's 
all you are, and I'm going to get even for that punch 
you took at me, do you hear? Now you shoot any 
more of that killing stuff at me, and I'll go after you 
like a wild bear! You're never going to kill any- 
body, you haven't got the nerve ; but I have, and the 
next bluff you make at me will be your last ! (Sits.) 
It's your fault I'm mixed up in this affair, and the 
best thing you can do is to get me away clean, do 
you understand? (Smashes table with fist. Pause, 
then looks at Hayden.) You didn't think you were 
going to get that franchise for two hundred thou- 
sand, did you, Hayden? Why, this man would have 
bled you for half a million before the bill went 
through, and then held you up for hush money be- 
sides. I know what I'm talking about. He was going 
to rob you, Hayden, and I dare him to call me a liar ! 
(All look at Cargan, who swallows the insult in fear 
of Max's attitude.) 

Hayden. (After a pause) Cargan, is it true that 
you were going to rob me of this money? 

Cargan. (Turns to Hayden, after a slight 
pause) Well, if you want to know — yes, that's what 
I was going to do, rob you ; just what you deserve. 
You were trying to rob the city, weren't you ? You're 
just as much a thief as I am. If I'm a crook, it's 
your kind that has made me so — ^you, with your rot- 
ten money, tempting men to lie and steal! (Settles 
back in his chair.) Big corporations such as yours 
are the cause of corrupt politics in this counfay, and 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 6$ 

you're just the kind of a sneak that helps build pris- 
ons that are filled with the poor devils that do your 
dirty work. You're worse than a crook — ^you're a 
maker of crooks. (Turns to Hayden, leans forward 
and points at him.) But I promise you, Hayden, 
that if I go up for this, you'll go with me ! It's your 
fault that I entered into this thing, and, by Gad ! I'll 
get even if I have to lie over a Bible and swear your 
life away! (Turns, facing audience.) Rob you! 
Humph! You've got a hdl of a gall to yell about 
being robbed, you have ! 

Peters. (After slight pause) I hope the prison 
catches fire and you're all burned to a crisp ! 

Magee. (Laughs) You know, my suggestion 
was to start a conversation, not a rough house. 

Hayden. (After a slight pause) This woman 
who took the money — who is she? 

Myra. a newspaper reporter. 

Bland. On the "Daily Star." 

Cargan. The sheet that has fought me ever since 
I've been in office. They've got me this time, sure ! 

Max. (After a pause, looking nervously at Ma- 
gee) How much longer are you going to keep us 
here? 

Magee. That's for the telephone to say. I'll re- 
lease you as soon as I'm sure Miss Norton is safe 
and sound in Reuton. (All turn toward Magee, 
surprised.) 

Bland. Then you're not going to turn uS over 
to the police ? 

Magee. Certainly not. Why should I ? (Move- 
ment of relief from ail.) 

Peters. (Gets up) Because they're a lot of 
crooks. (Alt turn towaird Peters.) Oh, how I'd 
love to be on the jury! 

Magee. Sit down, Hermy. I need a little target 
practise, and remember, th^ere's no law against kill- 
mg gfeMtet t^^flfBas arte./ 



66 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Hayden. There's no train to Reuton till five 
o'clock. That means we must stay here till six, eh? 

Magee. I'm afraid so, unless they make it by 
automobile from Asquewan. It means several hours 
at the best, so you might as well be patient ; you've 
got a long wait. (All move uneasily.) 

Myra. (Cuddling up in her chair) Me for my 
-beauty sleep ! Good-night. (Short pause, then 
'phone rings. All start and stare at it. Magee gets 
up and stops buzzer.) 

Max. She couldn't have made it as quick as that. 
It's over an hour by automobile. 

Magee. (Keeps them all covered with gun) An- 
swer that 'phone, please. Miss Thornhill. (Myra 
gets up and goes to 'phone. Magee hacks upstage.) 
I'm going to keep looking straight ahead of me to- 
night. Hurry, please. Give me the message as you 
gtt it. I'll tell you what to say if it requires an 
answer. 

Myra. (At 'phone, in a bored tone) Hello ! . . . 
Yes, Baldpate Inn. . . . Yes, I know who you 
mean. Just a moment. (To Magee) Someone 
wants to talk to you. 

Magee. Get the name. 

Myra. (In 'phone) Hello! who is this, please? 
... Oh, yes. . . . Very well, I'll tell him. (Turns 
to Magee.) Miss Norton. 

Magee. Say that it is impossible for me to turn 
my back long enough to come to the 'phone, and 
that you will take the message and repeat it to me 
as you get it. 

Myra. (In 'phone. Magee backs up r.c.^ It is 
impossible for him to turn his back long enough to 
come to the 'phone. You are to give me the message 
and I am to repeat it to him as I get it. . . . You're 
talking from the Commercial House in Asquewan. 
. . . You missed the package of money five minutes 
ago. . . (All turn.) You either dropped it in the 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 67 

inn before you left, or else lost it while hurrying 
down the mountain. . . . Search the inn thorough- 
ly. (Pause, while all look around room.) Ask him 
whether or not you should notify the police. (All 
show fear.) You're nearly crazy, and don't know 
which way to turn. . . . Just a moment. (Turns 
and looks at Magee.) Well, what shall I say? 

Magee. (Looks around at all, then answers, after 
a pause) Say to hold the wire. 

Myra. (In 'phone) Hold the wire, please. (Gets 
.up and goes toward chair r. j 

Hayden. The money lost ! 

Cargan. Thank God, there goes their evidence! 

Max. Who ever heard of losing two hundred 
thousand dollars! 

Bland. Can't be done outside of Wall Street. 
Surest thing you know, she's holding out. 

Magee. (Smiles) You're a quick thinker, Miss 
Thomhill. 

Myra. (Turns to Magee) What do you mean ? 

Magee. That I don't believe you got that mes- 
sage at all. 

Myra. (Shrugs her shoulders indifferently) Very 
well ; she's on the wire — see for yourself. (Sits in 
chair in front of fire.) 

Magee. Come here, Hermy. 

Peters. My name's not Henry; my name's 
Peters. 

Magee. Well, whatever it is, come here. (Peters 
goes up to Magee, up r.) I know you don't like 
anybody in this room any better than I do, so I'm 
going to take a chance on you. Take this gun and 
guard that door until I get this message, and you) 
kill the first man or woman that makes a move, do 
you understand? 

Peters. (Vindictively) I'd like to kill them all ! 

Magee. Don't shoot unless you have to. (He 
hands Peters the gun and goes to 'phone.) Hello ! 



68 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Peters. Damn you, Cargan, I've got you at last ! 

(Peters goes toward Cargan and is grabbed by, 
Hayden. Myra screams and jumps up. Bland 
springs on Magee and struggles with him. Max 
rushes over to r., amd the two overpower Ma- 
gee at 'phone. When Hayden grabs Peters, 
Cargan rushes over and struggles with Peters, 
wrestling gun from him.) 

Max. (To Magee) Take it easy, young fellow ; 
you haven't got a chance. 

Bland. We've got him ! 

Cargan. (After wrenching gun from Peters, he 
hits him a blow, knocking him down) What do you 
think of that? (Bland and Max are r., each hold- 
ing Magee by the arm^. Peters is on the floor c, 
Cargan standing over him, with gun. Hayden is 
L., looking on. Cargan to Peters) So you wanted 
to take a shot at me, eh ? (Kicks Peters.) Get up ! 
(Peters gets up in fear. Cargan bcLcks upstage 
slightly.) Put them both up in the room where he 
put us, and lock the door. 

Bland. They can make a getaway from the win- 
dow, Cargan ; I did it myself. 

Cargan. There's no window in that room ; it's a 
linen closet. Put them up there. (He backs up- 
stage, gun in hand. Peters starts upstairs.) 

Magee. (To Cargan, as he comes to c. on way 
to stairs) What's the idea, Cargan? 

Cargan. (Backing up c. and pointing gun) Go 
on, I'm the school-teacher now—do as you're told. 
(Hayden goes to extreme l. as Peters and Magee 
go upstairs, followed by Max. Bland goes r., be- 
low 'phone. Cargan speaks next lines to Myra with 
his back to her.) Get on that 'phone. Miss Thorn- 
hill, and tell that woman not to notify the p6lice. Say 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 69 

that she is to return here at once, and see what she 
says. 

(Myea goes to 'phone. Magee and Max are now 
on landing. Peters is standing at door of room 
L. on balcony.) 

Myra. (In 'phone) Hello ! . . . Yes. . . . Why, 
the message is that you are not to notify the police 
of the loss. Say nothing to anyone, but return here 
at once. . . . That is the message. . . . Yes, good- 
bye. (Hangs up receiver.) 

Cargan. (To Myra, still watching Magee) All 
right. 

Myra. (Rising from switchboard) As quick as 
she can get here, she says. (Goes down r. to chair.) 

Magee. (Stops on landing as he hears 'phone con- 
versation) What are you going to do, Cargan ? 

Cargan. Never mind ; I'm running things now. 
Get in there! (Peters exits into room L. on bal- 
cony.) 

Magee. You harm that girl, and I'll get you if 
it's the last act of my life ! 

Cargan. I've read that kind of talk in books. 

Magee. I write books of that kind, but I'm talk- 
ing real talk now ! 

Max. (To Magee) Go on, get in there. 

(Magee goes upstairs and exits into room. l. Max 
locks door and comes to foot of stairs. Bland 
has gone l. Cargan puts gun in his pocket and 
comes down c.) 

Hayden. (Over to Cargan at c.) Now what's 
the move, Cargan? 

Cargan. We're going to get that money if she's 
got it on her. 

Bland. You don't think she's fool enough to 



70 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

bring it back with her if she's trying to get away 
with it, do you? 

Hayden. What are you going to do with it if 
you find it on her, Cargan? 

Caegan. Keep it, of course. 

Hayden. It's my money. 

Cargan. Our agreement holds good. You people 
will get the franchise. Don't worry. 

Hayden. Why, you've just openly declared that 
you were ^oing to rob me of the money. 

Cargai4. Oh, because I was mad clean through. 
Wasn't I being accused right and left? I didn't 
mean a word I said, Hayden. I don't even know 
now what I said. (Pats Hayden ingratiatingly on 
the shoulders, then goes up c, looking up at room 

L.) 

Hayden. (Goes to Bland, who is below table L.J 
What do you think, Bland? 

(Cargan and Max come downstage to c.) 

Bland. Don't ask me; you bawled me out once 
to-night; that's enough! 

Cargan. I haven't forgotten what you said to 
me, Mr. Max. 

Max. I don't want you to forget it. I want you 
to remember it all your life.^ (As Cargan reaches 
for gun.) I wouldn't care if you had six guns on 
you. Cut out that wild talk ; I ain't going to listen 
to it any more. Why, you're nothing but a cheap 
coward, Cargan! (Cargan looks at Max a mo- 
ment, then turns upstage, cowed. Max crosses to 
Myra, r.) So you tried to double cross me, eh? 

Myra. (Turns and faces Max) Why, certainly! 
Who are you? 

Max. Why, damn you, I (Raises his hand to 

strike Myra, who shrinks away.) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 71 

Bland. (Crossing quickly to c.) Here, wait a 
minute, Max ; nothing like that while I'm around. 

Max. (Turns to Bland) Maybe you want some 

of it? Why, I (Raises his hand to strike 

Bland.) 

Bland. (Grabs Max's arm and throws it back) 
Now behave yourself. The same speech you just 
made to Cargan goes for me. I want you to cut 
out this wild talk. I'm not going to listen to any 
more of it. I'll put you on your back if you make 
another bluff at me ! 

Hayden. (Goes toward Max and Bland, c ) 
Gentlemen, gentlemen, please! (Max and Bland 
look each other in the eye for a moment, then Max 
goes up R., near safe.) 

Bland. (Turns to Hayden after Max has gone 
up R.) You keep out of this, Hayden; you'll get all 
you're looking for if you don't. (Raises his hand to 
Hayden as if to strike.) 

Hayden. Put it down! Put it down, do you 
hear me ? What do you mean by raising your hand 
to me? Why, damn me, for two pins I'd take and 
wipe up the floor with you! I can whip a whole 
army of cowards like you ! Now get away from me ! 
Get away from me before I knock you down! 
(Bland, surprised at Hayden's attitude, goes up to 
c. door, after staring at Hayden a moment. Hay- 
den goes to Myra r. Max goes to safe and begins 
working combination.) Now, Madam, what do you 
mean by claiming to be my wife? I demand an ex- 
planation. 

Myra. (Turns quickly and angrily on Hayden) 
Now let me tell you something, old man. You can 
scare these three little boys, but I don't want you 
to annoy me, because I've got a nasty temper; so go 
on, get away before I lose it ! 

(Hayden stares at Myra, dumbfounded, then goeg 



72 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

quickly to l. Myra seats herself in chair afters 
Hayden turns from her. Max, by this time, 
has worked combination of safe, and at this 
point the door flies open. He grabs a gun from 
safe and slams door shut. Cargan, who has 
been standing at foot of stairs looking up a* 
room L.j tvirns quickly as he hears the door slam 
and crosses quickly to r.c, catching Max at 
safe door. Bland crosses Cargan to l.c.) 

Cargan. (Pulling his gun) Get away from that 
safe! What are you doing there? 

Max. (Flashes revolver. Myra rises and stands 
L. of chair and below it) Oh, you needn't be afraid. 

I ain't going to do anything, only I (Max has 

cotne in front of desk while speaking above lines, 
and now takes deliberate aim at Myra and shoots. 
She screams and drops into chair.) 

Bland. (Runs to Myra) God ! 

Cargan. (Crosses to l. of Max) What's the 
matter. Max? Have you gone crazy? (Puts gun 
in his pocket.) 

Hayden. (Over to r. of Max, looking toward 
Myra) Now we're in for it. Is she hurt? 

Max. (Down l. of Hayden ) I couldn't help it ; 
it was an accident ! I didn't mean it, I tell you ! 

(Magee raps on *door upstairs. All look up.) 

Magee. (From upstairs) What's wrong down 
there? (Raps again.) What's liappened? (All 
stand rigid, staring.) 

Bland. (In a low voice) Put out the lights. 

(Cargan tiptoes upstage and turns out bracket lights, 
leaving only the reflection of burning logs on 
Myra's face, then tiptoes back to c. ) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 73 

Hayden. Anything serious, Bland ? 

Bland. You're a damn good shot, Max ; you got 
her, all right ! (Is feeling Myra's pulse.) 

Cargan. Don't say that ! (Backs away to l..c.) 

Hayden. It can't be possible! 

Bland. It's all over — she's gone! (Drops her 
hand, then turns her chair around to '&..) 

Max. (■&.€., wUd-eyed) But I didn't mean it, I 
tell you — it was an accident! 

Bland. You lie ! 

Cargan. I saw you take aim. 

Hayden. So did I. 

Max. (Pleadingly) No, no, don't say that! It 
isn't so! Before Heaven, I swear it was an acci- 
dent! 

(Magee pounds on door upstairs.) 

Hayden, Cargan and Bland. (To Max. Hay- 
den is L. of Max) Ssh ! (All look up in direction 
of door.) 

Magee. (From room r.) Tell me what the mat' 
ter is down there. 

Cargan. (Goes to foot of stairs and coils up) 
Everything's all right — nothing wrong. 

Magee. I know better ! Open this door ! (Pounds 
on door.) 

Bland. Give me a hand, Cargan, and we'll get 
her out of here. (Max and Hayden go up c.) 

Cargan. (Over to Bland) Where do you 
mean? 

Bland. (Pointing to room r. on balcony) Up in 
that room. Come on, hurry up! (Cargan assists 
Bland in lifting Myra to the tatter's shoulders. 
Bland starts for stairs, carrying Myra; Cargan 
following with her wraps, etc.) 

Max. Cr.c. as Bland passes with Myra) I didn't 



74 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

mean it, I tell you ! I'm innocent ! Why, I wouldn't 
harm a fly ! 

Hayden. (Goes r.c. to Max and silences him 
roughly) Keep quiet, you damn fool ! Do you want 
the world to hear you ? 

(Magee resumes pounding on the door. _ Just as 
Bland and Cargan get to first landing, Ma- 
gee kicks the door open from the inside, and in 
the breakaway the lock falls to the floor. Ma- 
gee enters on balcony as the door flies open, 
Peters following him out. Magee comes to 
first landing and follows Bland and Cargan 
up opposite stairs a few steps. Peters remains 
outside door r. Bland and Cargan stop only 
a second on first landing, and then continue on 
up the stairs during following lines.) 

Magee. What's happened ? 

Cargan. She's fainted, that's all. 

Magee. Where are you taking her? 

Cargan. You'll keep out of this, young fellow, 
if you know what's good for you! (Bland and 
Cargan exit into room r., Cargan closing door.) 

Magee. (Has followed them on balcony. Watches 
them exit with Myra, then rushes downstairs to 
Hayden c.) Who fired that pistol shot? 

Max. (h. — blurts out) It was an accident! 

Hayden. (Quickly to Max, r.c.) Shut up ! 

Magee. See here, Hayden, if there's anything 
wrong here, you can't afford to mix up in it ; you're 
too big a man. 

Max. (Hysterically) I didn't mean to kill her. 
I'm not responsible ! It was an accident. 

Magee. (k.c.) Oh, we have a murder case on 
our hands — is that the idea? 

Hayden. (r. of Magee) I don't know ; but what- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 75 

ever it is, we're all in this thing together. We must 
frame a story and stick to it, do you understand ? 

Magee. No, I don't understand. 

Hayden. We must claim suicide. 

Max. (Going toward c. — Hayden goes up c.) 
That's it ! She killed herself ! I was an eye-witness 
— she killed herself ! 

Magee. Do you think I'd enter into such a das- 
tardly scheme? (Bland and Caegan enter and 
stand on balcony c, listening.) No ! If it's murder, 
there's the murderer — (Points to Max^ crosses to 
him R., then back to L.c.j — self-confessed. But you're 
all as guilty as this man — every one of you. It's the 
outcome and result of rotten politics and greed. I'll 
swear to every word that's been uttered here to- 
night. I've had my ear against the crack of that 
door for the last five minutes. I overheard every 
word that passed between you. I'll tell the story 
straight from the shoulder. You can't crawl out of 
it, gentlemen, with your suicide alibi. It's murder 
in the first degree, and I'm going to help make you 
pay the penalty! 

(Hayden and Max stand staring at him. Hayden 
goes up R.J near desk. Cargan and Bland,, 
after a bit of pantomime, com,e downstairs, Car- 
gan goes to L. of Magee and Bland to r. of 
him. Max is R.J 

Cargan. (After a pause — -l. of Magee) I'm 
afraid you're in wrong here, young fellow. 

(Peters sneaks across balcony to r. of it and stands 
listening to next few speeches, hidden behind 
post R.) 

Cargan. I'm sorry for you. From the bottom of 
my heart I pity you. (Takes stage a little l. Ma- 



76 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

GEE does not reply; simply looks at Cargan, then at 
Bland.) 

Bland. (After a pause) She's dead— you killed 
her, all right! 

(Magee looks Bland in the eye, then at Cargan. 
The latter turns upstage after a paitse, then 
crosses down to back of chair l. Magee crosses 
to Hayden, who comes down c.) 

Hayden. (Comes doTum c. to r. of Magee) Bet- 
ter plead insanity, old man; it's the only chance 
you've got. 

(Magee stares at Hayden, then crosses over to e. 
and looks Max straight in the eye. Max stares 
back at him.) 

Max. (After a pause) Bad business, this carry- 
ing guns. Who was the woman — ^your wife? 

(Peters exits into room on balcony r., closing door. 
Bland is l.c.) 

Magee. (Turns, sees the three staring at him, 
smiles and comes c.) No, no, gentlemen 1 You can't 
get away with it ! It's good melodrama, but it's old 
stuff. I know every trick of the trade. I've writ- 
ten it by the yard. You can't intimidate me. I 
won't be third-degreed. You work very well to- 
gether, but it's rough work, and it isn't going to get 
you anything. Besides, you forget I have a witness 
in Peters, the hermit. (All turn and look up at room 

L.; 

Cargan. (Front of table l. — looks up at room, 
then says to Bland) Get him. Bring him down. 
(Goes to foot of stairs as Bland goes upstairs.) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE ^^ 

Bland. (Runs up and looks into room. L., thei/i 
comes out on balcony) He's gone! 

(Hayden looks at Max, then back to Bland.) 

Cargan. Gone! Where? 

Bland. (Comes quickly down the stairs) He 
probably found a way; he knows the place better 
than we do. (Goes r. of Magee.) 

Cargan. (Comes down to Magee, r.c.) I saw 
you when you fired ; you shot to kill. 

Bland, ^r. of Magee) I tried to knock the gun 
from your hand, but I was too late. (Goes up- 
stage.) 

Hayden. ^r. of Bland) I didn't witness the 
shooting myself, but I turned just in time to grab 
you before you got away. 

Max. (■&..) But you shouldn't have choked her ; 
that was the brutal part of it. 

Magee. (Starts for Max, who backs away to 
fireplace, frightened) Why, you dog, I 

(Chief EIennedy appears outside door and pounds 
on it three tim^s. All on stage stop abruptly 
and look toward door, holding the picture for a 
repeat of the pounding.) 

Cargan. (Loudly) Who's there? 

Kennedy. (Yells through door from outside) 
Open this door in the name of the law ! 

(WARN Lights.) 

Max. The police! 

Hayden. (Quickly to Max) Keep quiet ! (Gets 
behind desk.) 

Bland. (To Cargan) You'd better let them in, 
Cargan. 

Magee. (Starts for door) I'll unlock the door. 

Cargan. No, you don't; I'll attend to it! 



78 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

(Crosses Magee^ goes up to door and unlocks it. 
Kennedy steps in, watching Cargan as the latter 
locks the door. As Cargan is about to put key in 
his pocket, Kennedy speaks. Bland has gone l., 
above table, when Cargan goes up to door.) 

Kennedy. (Up l.c., just inside door) Here, 
wait a minute! I'll take that key. I'll take that 
_gyui I saw you stick in your gpck^ too. 

Bland. (Takes a coupTe of steps toward Ken- 
nedy up L.) What authority have you? 

Kennedy. (Comes down l.c. to Bland) Close 
your trap! I'm Chief Kennedy of the Asquewaij 
Falls Police Headquarters — that's my authority ! 

Cargan. (Down to Kennedy, pointing to Bland) 
It's all right, Chief ; he's all right. 

Kennedy. Where's the light switch? 

Magee. Up there to your left. 

Kennedy. (Goes up l. of door and turns on 
lights, then comes downstage L. of Cargan, recog- 
nizing him) Hello, Mr. Mayor ! What are you do- 
ing here? 

Cargan. I can explain all that. 

Magee. (Pointing to Max) That man has a 
gun on him also. (Hayden moves over toward L. 
slowly.) 

Kennedy. (Goes over r.c. and looks Magee over 
carefully) Who are you? (Cargan crosses to l.c. J 

Magee. I'll tell you who I am at the proper time 
and place. You'd better get on your job quick here, 
Chief ; there's something doing. Two of these men 
are carrying weapons, and two of them also have 
keys to that door. I'm telling you this to prevent a 
getaway. 

Kennedy. What are you trying to do, run the 
police department? 

"SiAGEE." This is an important case. Chief. Thou- 
sands of dollars are involved, and a crime commit- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 79 

ted besides. I advise placing every man in this room 
under arrest immediately. 

Kennedy. (To Cargan) What's this all about, 
Mr. Mayor? (All appear anxious.) 

Cargan. He's four-flushing, Chief. He's stalling 
for a chance to break away. 

Kennedy. Don't be afraid ; I've got men outside ; 
nobody'll get away. (Crosses Magee to Max r., 
and looks at him closely.) Lou Max, eh? Quite a 
crowd of celebrities. (To Max) You got a gun? 
(Max hands him his gun.) What are you totin' this 
for ? (No reply from Max. Chief turns and fans 
Magee.) He's clean. (Turns Magee upstage and 
crosses to Cargan.) I'm sorry to trouble you, Mr. 
Mayor, but I'll have to relieve you of that hard- 
ware. (Cargan hands Chief his gun.) And the 
key, too, please. (Cargan hands Chief his key.) 
I've come here to investigate, and I've got to do my 
duty. (Crosses Cargan over to Bland l.c.) 

Bland. (Holding up his hands as Chief ap- 
proaches him) There's nothing on me. 

Kennedy. (Fans Bland) Who's got the other 
key ? He said there were two. 

Bland. (Points to Hayden) This gentleman. 

Kennedy. (Goes to Hayden l., who hands the 
Chief his key) Hello ! Mr. Hayden. Humph ! 

This is a real highbrow' affair, isn't it? Well 

(Smiles, goes up c. to R. of Cargan and looks them, 
all over.) Come on, somebody open up. What's the 
big gathering all about? 

Max. (Pointing to Magee) He's got a key. 
Make him give it up. 

Kennedy. (To Magee) Come on. (Magee 
hands Chief his key.) You got anything more to 
say? 

Magee. I prefer to tell my story in the presence 
of witnesses. I insist upon the immediate arrest of 
everyone here, myself included. 



8o SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Hayden. Don't mind him, Chief; he's a mad- 
man. 

Kennedy. Well, somebody telephoned police 
headquarters from here about two hours ago, and 
when we got on the wire Central said they'd hung 
up. We got a new connection, and asked if they'd 
called, and some woman said, "No, it was a mis- 
take." We got to thinking it over at headquarters, 
and it didn't listen good, so we looked it up and 
found out that the call had been put in from Bald- 
pate Inn; so I made up my mind to come here and 
investigate. Now, when I started up the mountain 
ten minutes ago the lights were on full blast, and 
all of a sudden they went out, and there was a pistol 
shot, too. Every one of my men heard the report, 
and we all agree it came from this direction. Now, 
what's it all about? 

Magee. 'Twas I who called up police headquar- 
ters. (All look at Magee.) 

Kennedy. You! The Sergeant said it was a 
woman's voice on the wire. 

Magee. That was the second time when you 
called up, but I tried to get you first. 

Kennedy. What for? 

Magee. I don't intend to tell my story until I'm 
under oath. I want every word I say to go on the 
court records. I charge these men with conspiracy 
and murder ! 

Kennedy. What is thisj Cargan? 

Cargan. The poor devil's gone mad, I guess. 
He shot and killed a woman a few minutes ago, and 
he's accused every man here of the crime. 

Kennedy. Murder, eh? 

Hayden. Yes, cold-blooded murder. 

Kennedy. (To Magee) Who was the woman 
you shot? 

Magee. Don't let these men get away with this, 
Chief. I can prove my innocence. (Pointing to 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 8i 

Max.) There's the real murderer. These men 
know it as well as I do. They're accusing me in an 
attempt to save their own necks. They're afraid to 
tell the truth because this man is a squealer, and 
they know that a confession from him of a scheme 
to steal the right of way for a street car franchise 
in Reuton will send them all to the State peniten- 
tiary. I can prove why I'm here to-night. Ask 
these men their reason for being here, and let's hear 
what they have to say. 

(Kennedy looks from one to the other withovi 
speaking.) 

Cargan. He's been raving like that for the last 
ten minutes, Chief. 

Kennedy. (To Magee) What is your reason 
for being here? 

Magee. I came here to write a book. 

Kennedy. (To Cargan) You're right; he's a 
lunatic, sure. (To Cargan) Who was the woman 
that telephoned to headquarters ? 

Magee. Miss Norton, of the "Reuton Star." 

Kennedy. The "Reuton Star," eh? (To Car- 
gan) Is she the woman that was killed? 

Cargan. No; her name is Thornhill, 

Kennedy. Where is she? 

Cargan. In one of the rooms upstairs. 

Kennedy. Was there anybody else here besides 
you people? 

Magee. Yes; Peters, the hermit. 

Kennedy. Another crazy man.jeh? 

Bland. But he's disappeared. ~ 

Kennedy. Well, he won't go far. (Goes upstage 
and looks out of door.) I've got the house sur- 
rounded. (Coming downstage.) I'll look the ground 
over before I send for the coroner. He won't be 
here till seven or eight o'clock. You people will 



82 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

have to stay here till he comes. (Cargan, Bland 
and Hayden sit near table L. Max sits rJ What 
room is she in? (Looking up at balcony.) 

Cargan. (Gets up from table) I'll show you, 
Chief. (Starts toward stairs, leading the way, fol- 
lowed by the Chief, Hayden, Bland and Max in 
order named. All look back at Magee as they go 
upstairs.) 

Kennedy. (To Magee, when he gets on balcony) 
Take myjiip and don't try to get away, young fel- 
low. One of those cops outside will blow your head 
off if you do. 

Magee. (Goes l. near foot of stairs as men go 
up) You needn't be afraid. I'm going to stay 
right here, and I'm going to make sure these other 
men do until we're all taken into custody. 

Hayden. It's a sad case, Chief. 

Kennedy. We're used to that. They generally 
go out of their minds after they shoot. Where is 
she? 

Cargan. (Goes to door of room R.j In here, 
Chief. 

(Chief exits into room, followed by Hayden, 
Bland, Max and Cargan, the latter closing the 
door. During the last few speeches Peters 
has been peering through glass in dining-room 
door L. He now enters and goes quickly to 
Magee c.) 

Peters. I carried the body from that room 
through the secret passage to the cellar. 

Magee. (Amazed) What ! 

Peters. I heard them accuse you of the crime. 
(Backs toward door l. slowly.) They'll never find 
the secret passage — ( Laughs )-^a.ry6. they'll never find 
the body! (Laughs viciously.) 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 83 

Magee. What did you do that for, you damn 
fool? (Door opens on balcony rJ 

Peters. Hist ! (He points up at door r. on bal- 
cony. Magee looks up. Peters exits hwrriedly 
through door l,.) 

(Cargan enters, wild-eyed, from room, runs down- 
stairs and comes to l.c. Max follows him down 
and goes to R. Hayden follows Max, and 
comes down to l.c. Bland follows Hayden, 
and comes to R. All the men show extreme 
fear. Magee, standing c, watches them. Ken- 
nedy comes out on balcony, looks at people 
downstairs, then back at room, for a moment, 
then out again at cue.) 

Hayden. (To Cargan, who is front of table u) 
What do you make of this, Cargan ? 

Cargan. The damn place is haunted! 

Max. She must have escaped by the window. 

Bland. How could a dead woman jump from the 
window? Besides, the windows are closed. 

(They all stand staring up at balcony. Kennedy 
appears from room r. and closes door.) 

Kennedy. (Com,es to c. of balcony and stands 
looking down at men) Say, what are you fellows 
trying to do, string me? (Starts downstairs.) You 
know I was born and brought up in New York City, 
even if I do live in Asquew^n Falls. (Comes down 
to c. and looks theni all over.) 

Hayden. I can't understand it at all. 

Cargan. She was in that room ten minutes ago. 
Chief. 

Bland. I'll take a solemn oath on that. 

Max. My God, I'm going insane ! (Grabs chair 
to steady himself.) 



84 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Kennedy. Say, what the devil is this all about? 
(Looks from one to the other.) If you people think 
you can make a joke out of me, you're mistaken. I 
won't stand for it. Now come on, what's the an- 
swer? 

Magee. It's no joke. Chief; there has been a 
murder committed here. 

Kennedy. Then where's the victim? 

Magee. In the cellar. 

Bland, Cargan, Hayden and Max. What! 

Kennedy. In the cellar? 

Magee. If I'm not mistaken, that's where she 
was taken after the murder. 

Hayden. You lie ! 

Cargan. You know she was taken to that room. 
(Points to room r. on balcony.) 

Bland. You saw us carry her there. 

Max. Of course he did. 

Kennedy. (To Magee) What are you trying 
to do, trap me in the cellar? 

Magee. I tell you. Chief, you'll find the victim 
in the cellar. Then you can judge for yourself if 
I'm as crazy as these men claim me to be, or whether 
they've suddenly gone mad themselves. 

Kennedy. (Blows his whistle) I'll get at tiie 
bottom of this thing pretty quick! (Rushes up to 
door, unlocks and opens it. Two Cops enter, come 
to L. of stage up c. and await orders. Kennedy 
locks door and goes to Cops.) Search the cellar of 
this place, and report to me here what you find — 
every nook and corner. And don't leave a thing un- 
turned, understand? (Cops sklute. Mary appears 
outside door.) Hurry up, then ! (Cops exit through 
door L. Kennedy comes down c.) If this thing 
is a practical joke, you'll all land in jail for it. I'm 
not going to be made the laughing stock of Asque- 
wan Falls, I'll tell you that right now. (Mary, who 
has been peering through door, opens it dwjng this 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 85 

speech and enters. Kennedy turns as door opens 
and goes upstage.) Hello! Who's this? 

Magee. (Goes l. as Mary enters) Miss Nor- 
ton! (Mary locks door and starts down l.cJ 

Kennedy. (To Mary) I'll take that key, please. 

Mary. (Hands Chief the key and goes to Ma- 
gee L.c.) Why are the police here ? 

(Kennedy goes down r.c. to Bland.) 

Magee. (Reassuring Mary) It's all right. 

Kennedy. (To Bland) Who is this woman? 

Bland. She claims to be a newspaper reporter. 

Max. She's a thief; she stole a package of 
money! 

Kennedy. Whose money ? 

Hayden. My money. 

Cargan. (u, in front of table) No, my money. 

Magee. It's bribe money, Chief. 

Kennedy. Where is the money? 

Mary. (Turns and faces Chief) The money's 
been lost. 

Bland, Hayden, Max and Cargan. What! 

Kennedy. Say, what the hell are you people try- 
ing to do to me, anyway? 

Magee. (To Mary) Where did you lose it? 

Mary. (To Magee — Kennedy goes over, listen- 
ing) I don't know — somewhere between here and 
Asquewan. I searched every inch of the way from 
the bottom of the mountain to the top. It's gone, 
I'm afraid. 

Magee. Where is Mrs. Rhodes? 

Mary. She became too hysterical to return. I 
left her at the Commercial House in Asquewan. 

Kennedy. How much money was it? 

Magee. Two hundred thousand dollars. 

Kennedy. (Looks from one to the other) Come 
on, cut out the kidding stuff ! How much was it ? 



86 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Hayden. (h., near table) That's the exact amount 
the package contained, Chief — ^two hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 

Kennedy. (To Mary) Where'd you get this 
money ? 

Magee. I gave it to her. 

Kennedy. Where did you get it? 

Magee. From Mayor Cargan. 

Kennedy. Where did you get the money, Car- 
gan? (No reply from Cargan.) 

Magee. (After a pause) He took the money 
from that safe. 

Kennedy. (Goes upstage a couple of steps, looks 
at safe, then comes back to c.) How'd you open the 
safe, Cargan? 

Cargan. I didn't open the safe. 

Kennedy. Who did? 

Magee. Peters, the hermit. 

Kennedy. Who put the money in the safe? 

Magee. Bland. (Points to Bland.) That man 
to your right. 

Kennedy. (Over to Bland, r.c.) Where'd you 
get the money to put in the safe? 

Bland. From Mr. Hayden. 

Kennedy. (Looks at Hayden, l.) Is this true, 
Mr. Hayden? 

Hayden. I refuse to answer for fear of incrimi- 
nating myself. 

Kennedy. (Over to Max, r.) What do you 
know about this. Max? 

Max. Don't ask me ; I don't know. My brain's 
on fire — I'm going mad ! (Tugs at his collar, breath- 
ing hard.) 

Kennedy. (Comes to c. and looks them all over) 
Huh ! Hayden gave the money to Bland ; Bland put 
the money in the safe ; Peters ppened the safe ; Car- 
gan took the money from Peters; this fellow took 
the money from Cargan and gave it to the news- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 87 

paper reporter; she loses the money in the moun- 
tains ; then somebody killed a woman and the corpse 
got up and walked away, — and you expect me to 
believe this bunk, do you? 

Mary. (To Magee) What does he mean by say- 
ing that somebody killed a woman? 

Magee. Don't worry ; it's all right. (JAa&y and 
Magee g^ up l., near foot of stairs.) 

Cop. (Off stage) Come on, come on! Go on, 
get in there ! (He opens door l. and throws Peters 
to c. of stage. The other Cop follows them on.) 
That's all we could find in the cellar, Chief. 

Kennedy. No dead bodies or packages of 
money? 

Cop. Nothing else, Chief. (Goes up l. near door.) 

Kennedy. (Looks at Peters and laughs) Oh, 
it's you, is it, Peters ? So that's where you hide, eh? 
In the cellar of Baldpate? Well, you'll have a nice 
room in the county jail to-morrow. 

Peters. Damn the police ; I hate them ! 

Kennedy. (Throws Peters to r.) Go on, get 
over there! (To Cops as he goes u,p to door) 
Guard the outside. (As he goes up to door, Mary 
and Magee come down to l.c. Chief unlocks door. 
To Cops) And question anybody who passes up or 
down the mountain. (Opens door. Cops exit. Chief 
locks door and comes down stage to Mary.) You'll 
have to step upstairs. Miss. I've got a lot to say to 
these men here, and I'm not particular about my 
language when I'm on a case ; so come on, step up- 
stairs. 

Hayden. (Extreme l., near table) I don't be- 
lieve this girl lost the money. Chief. 

Kennedy. Well, I'll get the matron of the jail 
here and have her searched. If she's got anything 
on her we'll get it. (Mary starts for stairs, Chief 
following her up.) Go in one of those rooms till I 
call you. (Mary is now on balcony c. Chief comes 



88 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

downstage to c.) Who is the woman this girl says 
she left at the Commercial House? 

Cargan. Mrs. Rhodes. She's all right. 

Bland. (Goes slightly toward Cargan) How 
do we know? Maybe they're working together. 

Cargan. That's enough, Bland. 

Kennedy. (As he goes toward 'phone all back 
up and watch him) I'll call up the Commercial 
House and see if she's there. (In 'phone) Hello! 
Get me 35, Central, quick. (Mary exits into room 
R. on balcony.) Ring me when you get it. (Hangs 
up receiver and comes down to c.) What's her name 
again ? 

Magee. Mrs. Rhodes. (Mary screams off stage 
and rushes from room to balcony.) What's the mat- 
ter? 

Mary. (Screaming) She's dead! Someone's 
killed her I 

All. Who? 

Mary. (Hysterically) That woman there in that 
room 1 This is terrible ! 

(Kennedy looks at Magee. Magee looks at Car- 
gan. All stand rigid, staring at each other for 
a moment; then Kennedy, Cargan, Bland, 
Hayden and Max rush upstairs on balcony and 
cross to room h. As they pass in front of 
Mary, she backs up against windows and stands 
with arms outstretched against them. Peters is 
standing r., laughing.) 

Magee. (Goes over r. to Peters quickly) What 
did you do, bring her back to that room? 

Peters. Isn't that what you wanted me to do? 

Magee. No, you blithering idiot! (Turns and 
takes Mary in his arms as she runs to him.) 

Mary. Tell me who did this? How did it hap- 
pen? 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE % 

Magee. It's all right ; take it easy. 

(MaXj Bland, Cargan and Hayden enter from 
room R. in this rotation, all wild-eyed. They\ 
line up on balcony and keep their eyes glued to 
door of room. Kennedy enters on balcony, also 
keeping his eyes fixed on room,. He looks at 
men on balcony and then down at Magee and 
Mary, who stare up at him; then at Peters, 
who is over R.) 

Kennedy. Say, what are you people trying to do 
to me ? (To men on balcony, who are still staring at 
door.) Go on, get downstairs where you belong. 
(Four men come downstairs and go to former po- 
sitions. Telephone rings. Kennedy runs down- 
stairs.) Don't touch that 'phone! I'll answer it! 
(Looks from one to the other suspiciously.) Is this 
dump haunted, or is the joke on me? (No one re- 
plies. The 'phone still rings.) I'll soon find out! 
(Goes to 'phone. All back up and watch him.) 
Hello ! . . . Yes, I called you. Say, listen, Charlie. 
This is Chief Kennedy talking. Is there a woman 
there by the name of Rhodes ? She was. . . . She 
did, eh? How long ago? ... I see. . . . What's 
that ? . . . She asked you to mind a package for her 
till she got back? (All look at each other, startled.) 
Where have you got it ? ... In the safe ? . . . Say, 
listen, Charlie. Call headquarters right away and 
get a man over there. Give him that package, and 
tell him to bring it up to Baldpate Inn as quick as 
he can. Understand? . . . Never mind, you do as 
I tell you. And listen. Tell them to guard the gar- 
age and the depot, and put all strangers under ar- 
rest, men and women. ... I know what I'm doing, 
Charlie. You take orders from me. And listen. 
Get the coroner on the 'phone and tell him to get 
up here to Baldpate Inn in a rush. This is a case 



90 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

for him. . . . Don't lose any time now. Keep your 
mouth shut and get busy. (Hangs up receiver and 
comes to c. All come fonvard.J She left the hotel 
a quarter of an hour ago. She put the package in 
the hotel safe before she went. (He looks them all 
over. They stand staring at each other.) Humph! 
Somebody kills a woman — the victim disappears and 
then comes back ! That's pretty good stuff ! 

Magee. (Aside to Mary^ r.c.) How do you ac- 
count for this? 

Mary. (Aside to Magee) She must have stolen 
the money from me as we were running down the 
mountain. (Whistle is heard outside door. All turn 
and look toward door.) 

Kennedy. They've got somebody! (Rushes up 
to door and unlocks it. Cop enters. Chief locks 
door.) What is it? 

Cop. a woman. 

Kennedy. Shoot her in. (Unlocks door, opens 
it, and closes it as Cop exits.) Here comes the bird, 
I guess, that tried to fly away with the coin. (Opens 
the door as Mrs. Rhodes appears. She enters and 
zvatches Kennedy as he locks door.) 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Turns, takes in situation, then to 
Chief) What is the meaning of this ? 

Kennedy. (Up near door) That's what I'm try- 
ing to find out. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Goes to Mary, r.c.) Is there 
any trace of the money? 

(Mary turns from her without replying. Mrs. 
Rhodes then turns and looks at men, who all 
give her a contemptuous look. Kennedy com.es 
downstage c, standing back of her.) 

Hayden. (Crosses to l.c, between Cargan and 
Kennedy) Are you going to have these women 
searched. Chief? 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 91 

Kennedy. (Down l. of Mrs. Rhodes) Maybe 
it won't be necessary. (Looks intently at Mrs. 
Rhodes over her l. shoulder.) We'll wait until we 
see what's in the package she left at the Commercial 
House. (Mrs. Rhodes starts, regains her compos- 
ure, then seeing all watching her, she turns and 
makes a dash for the door. Chief speaks as he fol- 
lows her up. Hayden crosses back to l.) No, you 
don't! Nobody leaves here until this whole thing 
has been cleared up and I find out who killed that 
woman. 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Turns, startled) Killed a woman ! 
(Over to Cargan.) What does he mean? (Car- 
GAN turns from her without speaking. She goes to 
Mary.) 

Mary. (To Mrs. Rhodes) You stole the money 
from me, didn't you? (Mrs. Rhodes goes to Car- 
gan without replying to Mary.) 

Cargan. (Looks Mrs. Rhodes straight in the 
eye) I'll never trust another woman as long as I 
live ! 

Peters, (r.) They're no good — ^they never were. 

Kennedy. (To Peters) Shut up! (Comes to 
Mrs. Rhodes at c.) Well, what have you got to 
say. Missus? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (After a pause) Yes, I did steal 
the money. 

(Mary looks at Magee; others look at Mrs, 
Rhodes.) 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Over to Cargan, l.) But I did 
it for you, Jim Cargan. I knew that if the story 
was ever made public you would be a ruined man. 
I knew the package of money was the evidence that 
would convict you. I intended to return it to Mr. 
Hayden and try to kill off the bribe and save you 
from disgrace. I did all this because I thought you 



92 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

cared, and what is my reward? You stand there 
ready to turn against me — ^to condemn me. Very 
veil, now I'll turn ! (Turns to Kennedy.) Officer, 
these men have bargained to cheat the city of Reu- 
ton. I demand their arrest on the charge of con- 
spiracy ! 

Hayden. It's a lie! 

Magee. It's the truth, Chief, the absolute truth. 
This young lady and I will testify against these men 
and prove them guilty of conspiracy and murder. 

Mrs. Rhodes. Murder! 

Kennedy. What have you got to say to this, Mr, 
Cargan ? 

Cargan. Nothing at all — I'm through. (Sits at 
table L. Bland goes upstage, then crosses to above 
table u) 

Max. So am I. I can't stand this any loiter; 
I'm going mad! (Goes to Chief. Peters takes 
chair Max vacates. During following speech Ma- 
gee takes Mary up jl.) I want you to know the 
real truth. 'Twas I who killed that woman upstairs. 
I shot her down like a dog. I know that I haven't 
got a chance, but I don't want to be sent to the chair. 
I'll confess, I'll tell the truth, I'll turn State's evi- 
dence, anything — ^but, for God's sake, don't let them 
kill me ! (Kneels at Kennedy's feet.) 

Kennedy. (To Max) Get up. (Max rises. 
Chief takes handcuffs from his pocket.) Come on. 
You'll have to wear these, young fellow. (Puts 
handcuffs on Max. Mrs. Rhodes goes to foot of 
stairs.) 

Bland. (Throwing up hands) There we go! 

Hayden. (To Cargan) What are we going to 
do, Cargan? 

Cargan. No less than ten years, I'm afraid. 

Kennedy. (To Max) Go on, get over there. 
(Pushes Max over r., then goes upstage r. and down 
in circle. Max takes Peters' chair.). 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 93 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Goes to Mary, e.c.) Can you 
ever forgive me? 

Mary. (Giving Mrs. Rhodes her hand) I didn't 
understand — I do now. (Both go to foot of stairs, 
crossing in front of Chief.) 

Kennedy. (Down to Magee, r.c.) And you 
came here to write a book, eh ? 

Magee. That was the original idea. 

Kennedy. You know, I don't know yet whether 
you people are kidding me or not. (All turn 
toward door as police whistle is heard.) They've got 
somebody. (Rushes up to door and unlocks it. Cop 
enters. He closes door.) Well, what now? 

Cop. (Hands package to Chief) A package 
brought to you by the police messenger. He says 
it's from' the Commercial House. (All start.) 

Kennedy. Tell the messenger to hurry back and 
to tell the coroner to hurry up. (Opens door. Cop 
exits. Chief locks door and comes downstage a hit, 
a sickly smile on his face.) Say, before I open this 
thing, I want to tell you something. If this turns 
out to be a bunch of cigar coupons, I'm going to 
smash somebody, sure. I won't stand to be strung, 
even if I am a small town cop. (Opens package and 
sees bills.) Great Scott, it's the real thing! How 
much did you say was here ? 

Magee. Two hundred thousand dollars. 

Hayden. (Goes to Kennedy, c.) I'll take that 
money, please ; it belongs to me. 

Cargan. CGo^j to Kennedy c.) No, it doesn't ; 
it belongs to me. 

Magee. You hold that money. Chief ; it's the only 
real evidence of bribery we've got. 

Kennedy. Go away! (Hayden goes upstage; 
Cargan goes r. of chmr at table; Magee goes c.) 
You needn't tell me what to do ; I know my business. 
(Hayden crosses to l. of table. Kennedy put^ 
money in his pocket and goes to 'phdne. As he dees 



94 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

so, all on stage back up and watch him. In 'phone) 
Hello ! Get me 13, Central. (Wait.) Hello ! Is 
that you, Jane ? . . . This is the Chief. I want to 
talk to my wife. (Wait.) Hello! Hello! Betty? 
. . . Listen, Betty ; get this clear. Get some things 
together and get the children ready and take that 
five o'clock train to New York. . . . Never mind 
now, listen. When you get there, look up the rail- 
roads, and get on the first and quickest train that 
goes to Montreal. . . . Montreal. I'll be there 
waiting for you Thursday morning. . . . Don't ask 
a lot of questions ; do as I tell you. . . . What are 
we going to do there? We're going to live there. 
. . . Montreal. ... I don't know. (Turns to Ma- 
gee.) How the hell do you spell Montreal? (No 
one replies.) Listen; go to Canada — ^any part of it. 
I'll find you. . . . What? . . . Never mind the 
furniture; we're going to live in a palace. . . . Can- 
ada, that's all. . . . You do as I tell you. (Gets up 
from 'phone and goes c, looking at the money. As 
he sees everyone staring at him,, he puts it in his 
pocket.) 

Magee. What do you think you're going to do ? 

Kennedy. You heard me, didn't you ? I'm going 
to Canada. 

Peters. Canada! I hope to God you freeze to 
death! 

Magee. You mean you're going to steal that 
money ? 

Kennedy. Why shouldn't I steal it from a gang 
of crooks like this? It's one chance in a lifetime 
to get this much money. You don't suppose I'm 
going to pass it up when I've got it right here in my 
kick, do you? Not me I I'm going to have one hell 
of a time for the rest of my life and send my two 
boys to college! 

Bland. (Over to Kennedy) Do you imagine 
we're going to stand by and let you get away with it? 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 95 

Kennedy. (Whips out his gun and backs upstage 
a trifle. All but Bland and Magee back away from 
him.) That's just what you're going to do, and I'm 
going to have my men keep you here all night until 
I get a damn good start! 

(Bland knocks the gun from the Chief's hand. 
Magee grabs his curms and pins them behind 
him. Bland gets a hold on his legs. Women 
scream, and run halfway upstairs.) 

Magee. I've got him ! Get that money ! 

Peters. (Rushes toward Kennedy, yelling) I'll 
get it ! I'll get it ! 

Kennedy. (Yelling from the time he is grabbed) 
Let me go, do you hear ! Let me go ! 

Peters. (Grabs money from. Chief's pocket) 
I've got it ! 

Cargan. (Starts for Peters) Give me that 
money ! 

Hayden. (Starts for Cargan and grabs him by 
the arm when the latter is c.) No, you don't, Car- 
gan ; that's my money. 

Magee. Don't let them get it, Peters ! 

Peters. Let them try to get it! (Bland and 
Magee release the Chief.) Now let me see you 
get it! (Throws money in fire, laughing viciously. 
All stare into fire, watching the money burn.) Watch 
the rotten stuff burn ! 

Magee. (Comes down c.) What have you done ! 

Bland. He's burned the money ! 

Cargan. A fortune ! 

Hayden. Good God! 

Kennedy. I'll have my men here and shoot you 
down like a pack of hounds ! (Starts up c. as two 
pistol shots are heard outside. Bland goes v., near 
women. Magee goes up r. ; Cargan to table l. 
Max goes r. Kennedy goes up toward door.) 



96 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. What's that? (All turn and start toward 
door.) 

Max. (Looks up on balcony and yells) Look, 
look ! (All look up on balcony as he points to Myra, 
who is walking from room to room eJ 

Peters. A ghost ! A real ghost ! 

(Mary screams and grabs Magee; Mrs. Rhodes 
screams and grabs Cargan ; Hayden crouches 
L. ; Bland jumps behind desk; Max huddles up 
in chair near fire; Peters is on his knees.) 

Max. Take her away ! I didn't mean to kill her ! 
Take her away ! 

Kennedy. (Yells) Let me out of this place ! It's 
a graveyard! (Starts for door. Door flies open 
and the Owner enters. All stare at him.) 

Hayden. (After a pause) The seventh key ! 

Bland. The seventh key ! 

(Mary runs to Mrs. Rhodes, r. Magee goes up 
center.) 

Kennedy. (To Owner) Who are you? 

Owner. (Standing at door) I'm the owner of 
Baldpate Inn. Two policemen refused to allow me 
to pass, and I shot them dead. 

(Magee comes down to c.) 

All. What! 

Magee. This isn't true ! It can't be true ! I'm 
a raving maniac ! 

Owner. (Comes downstage to s. of Magee) I 
just arrived, Billy. I motored from New York. I 
expected to find you alone. (Looks around at peo- 
ple, circles up R. and back to c.) Who are thesei 
pteoplfe? Htfwa*d they get in here? HaVett%ais- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 97 

turbed you in your work? How are you getting 
on with the story ? 

Magee. How am I getting on? Great heavens! 
man, to what sort of a place did you send me? Noth- 
ing but crooks, murderers, ghosts^ pistol shots, po- 
licemen, and dead people walking about the halls. 
Hundreds of thousands of dollars, and keys and 
keys and keys! You win — I lose. Twenty-four 
hours ! Why, I couldn't write a book in twenty-four 
years in a place like this! My God, what a night 
this has been! 

(Owner starts laughing, then all join in, laughing 
and talking ad lib. Magee stands looking at 
them in utter amazement.) 

Owner. I'm not going to hold you to the wager, 
Billy. I just want you to know it isn't real. 

Magee. What isn't real? 

Mrs. Rhodes. (Steps toward Magee^ smiling) 
I'm not a real widow. (Crosses to foot of stairs. 
Mary comes down c. The Owner goes up to desk, 
laughing.) 

Caegan. (Comes to Magee) I'm not a real poli- 
tician. (Goes upstage.) 

Kennedy. (Down to Magee) I'm not a real 
policeman. (Backs upstage.) 

Peters. (Comes downstage to Magee) This 
isn't real hair. (Takes off wig and goes upstage s.) 

Hayden. (Goes to Magee c.) These are not 
real whiskers. (Takes off whiskers and goes up- 
stage L.j 

Bland. That wasn't real money that was burned. 
(Goes upstage R.j 

Max. (Over to Magee c.) These are not real 
handcuffs — see? (Breaks handcuffs and goes up' 



'98 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Myra. (Appears' on balcony k.) I'm not a real 
dead one. (Hearty laugh from all.) 

Magee. (To Mary, after looking around in 
amazement. Goes to her, -l.c.) Are you real? 

(Owner comes downstage to c.) 

Mary. Not a real newspaper reporter. 

Magee. I mean a real girl. 

Mary. (Smiles) That's for you to say. 

Magee. (Turns to Owner) Well, for heaven's 
sake, don't keep me in the dark. Explain, tell me 
what it all means. 

Owner. It means, old boy, that I wanted to prove 
to you how perfectly improbable and terrible those 
awful stories you've been writing would seem if 
such things really and truly happened. I left New 
York an hour ahead of you to-day. I got to Reu- 
ton at nine o'clock to-night ; went directly to the Em- 
pire Theatre; told the manager of our bet; framed 
the whole plan; engaged the entire stock company; 
hired half a dozen autos; shot over to Asquewan 
after the performance, and we arrived at the top of 
the mountain at exactly twelve o'clock. Since then 
you know what's happened. I've been watching the 
proceedings from the outside, and if it were not for 
the fact that I'm nearly frozen stiff, I'd call it a 
wonderful night. (All laugh heartily.) 

Magee. You did this to me? 

Owner. (Laughs) You're not mad, are you? 
Of course, if you want to go through with the bet, 
why 

Magee. No, thanks; the bet's off. I've had 
enough of Baldpate. Me for the Commercial House 
until the train is ready to start. (Over to Mary, 
L.c.) Is your real name Mary ? (She nods affirma- 
tively.) Well, Mary, the shots in the night, the 
chases after fortunes, and all the rest of the melo- 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 99 

drama may be all wrong, but will you help me prove 
to this man that there is really such a thing as love 
at first sight? (All show interest.) 

Mary. How can I do that? 

Magee. Don't you know? 

Mary. Well, you don't want me to say it, do you ? 

Magee. (Whispers in her ear — she nods affirma- 
tion) Now remember your promise, Mary. (Hearty 
laugh from all as he kisses her.) 

(Lights go out and black drop fails for about thirty 
seconds. End of Act II.) 

Epilogue 

(Curtain goes up again. Fire is out and lock re- 
placed on door. The stage is bare. Type- 
writer is heard clicking from room r. on bal- 
cony. The clock strikes twelve. Elijah Quim- 
BY is seen outside waving a lantern as he did in 
the first act. Mrs. Quimby appears, etc. Same 
business, except that instead of unlocking the 
door, he raps on it. When Magee enters from 
room R. and gets to c. of balcony, Quimby raps 
again. Magee comes out on balcony with hat 
and coat on, and carrying the suit and typewriter 
case and a manuscript under his arm. He stops 
on stairs, and as he hears Quimby's rap he 
comes down the stairs, puts the cases on the 
table L. and then goes up to door and unlocks it.) 

Magee. (As he opens door) Come right in, 
folks. You're right on time, I see. (Closes door 
and locks it.) 

Quimby. (Comes down R.c.J We've been out 
there ten minutes waiting for the clock to strike. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Comes down r.c.) Lord, I didn't 
think we'd find you alive ! 



100 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

Magee. (Comes down c.) The only difference 
between me and a real live one is that I'm tired, 
hungry and half dead. 

QuiMBY. (u of Mrs. Quimby) How'd you 
come out? 

Mrs. Quimby. Did you finish your book? 

Magee. (Handing Mrs. Quimby the manuscript) 
Allow me. 

Quimby. What do you think of that, Mother? 

Mrs. Quimby. Lord ! Wrote all that in twenty- 
four hours ! 

Magee. Just made it. Finished work a couple 
of minutes ago. 

Quimby. Were ytiu disturbed at all ? 

Magee. Never heard a sound. (Sits at table u) 

Mrs. Quimby. No ghosts? 

Magee. Nary a ghost, Mrs. Quimby, except those 
concealed in the manuscript. (Rises.) How about 
the Asquewan hotels? I'd like to get a bath and a 
bite to eat before I take that train. 

Quimby. There's the Commercial House. 

Magee. The Commercial House ! That's strange ! 
I guessed the name. 

Mrs. Quimby. How? 

Magee. I've got it in the story. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Aside to Quimby) What's he 
mean, Lije? 

Quimby. (Aside) Darned if I know. (To Ma- 
gee) The Missus has got a fine breakfast waiting 
for you up at our house. 

Mrs. Quimby. And a nice feather bed for you to 
take a nap in. The train don't go till five. 

Quimby. And the drummers all say the hotel's 
rotten. 

Magee. Lord, I'm tired ! (Sits at table u) Me 
for the breakfast and the feather bed. Some wild 
and woolly scenes have been enacted in this room 
sihtfe ybli Ifeft la;^ might, Mrs. Qftrtii%. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE loi 

Mrs. Quimby. What happened? 

Magee. Nothing; realty— ^just in the story. 

Mrs. Quimby. What's he mean, Lije? 

Quimby. How do I know ? (Telephone rings. 
QuiMBYS start and look toward it.) 

Magee. (Goes to 'phone, stops busser, and then 
goes h.) There's Bentley — he's pretty near on time. 

Quimby. Will I talk to him? 

Magee. Of course. That's the idea, isn't it? 

Quimby. (Goes to 'phone — -Mrs. Quimby stands 
c, watching him) Hello 1 hello 1 Mr. Bentley. . . . 
Yes, sir, I've got it right here, sir. Two minutes 
ago, sir. . . . I'll have to find that out. Wait a 
minute. (To Magee) What's the name of the 
story? 

Magee. It's typewritten on the cover. 

Mrs. Quimby. (Holds up script and reads by 
light of lantern) "Seven Keys to Baldpate." 

Quimby. (In 'phone) "Seven Keys to Bald- 
pate." (To Magee) He's laughin'. (Pause, then 
to Magee) He says there's only one. (In 'phone) 
Hello! . . . What, sir? . . . Wait, I'll see. (To 
Magee) You want to talk to him? 

Magee. No. Yes, just a minute. (Goes to 
'phone. QuiMBYS goes r.c. and stand listening.) 
Hello! hello! Hal. I'm going to collect that five 
thousand from you, old pal. . . . Yes, some title, 
isn't it? And, say, some story. Wild, terrible, hor- 
rible melodrama as usual, the kind of stufif you al- 
ways roast me about. Treated as a joke, however, 
this time. And say, Hal, listen ; I've got you in the 
story. . . . Yes, really. . . . Oh, I didn't mention 
your name or anything. . . . And, say, I'm in the 
story, too. . . . Oh, I'm the hero. . . . Say, Hal, 
this thing's going to sell over a million copies. . . . 
The what ? The critics ? (Lau^s.) I don't care a 



102 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

dam about the critics. This is tiie stuff the public 
wants. . . . Yes, I'll meet you at the Forty-fourth 
street club at two-thirty to-morrow. (Ad lib. as the 
curiam falls.) 

SLOW CURTAIN 



SET PROPERTIES 
(All Wicker Furmture.) 

1. Hotel counter up r.c. to r. 

2. Large practical safe back [of cownter, r. of c. 

3. Register, ledger, etc., inside safe. 

4. Practical telephone switchboard s. at end of coun- 

ter. 
5- White sheet thrown over switchboard. 

6. Letter and key boxes on scene back of counter. 

7. Large armchair front of fireplace, r. 

8. Wood-box with fire wood and three asbestos logs 

above fireplace, R. 

9. Low stool above ipood-box, r. 

10. Rack, with poker, tongs and shovel, below fire- 
place. 

11. Gas firelog, andirons and fender. 

12. Two chairs, stacked, front of counter, s.c. 

13. Armchair r. of center door. 

14. Armchair and plain chair, stacked, l. of c. door. 

15. Round table, with chair on top of it, down l.c. 

16. Two chairs, stacked, above and to l. of table. 

17. Armchair below swinging doors, L.2. 

18. Dust ■cloth on stair banister l. 

19. Practical bracket lamp on pillar above fireplace, 

R. 

20. Same above swinging doors, L.2. 

21. Coils of fire hose, axes and extinguishers on 
scene R. and l. on balcony. 

22. Keys in doors leading off balcony. 

23. Practical typewriting machine off R.3E. above 
fireplace. 

103 



104 SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

24. Small table and two plain chairs in room off bal- 

cony R. 

25. Manuscript of story in room off balcony r. 

26. Plain chair and bed linen in room off balcony L. 

27. Wind machine off stage up l.c. 

28. Blower off stage l. of c, near center door, 
■z^. Bell chime off stage up l. 

30. Table for hand props off stage L. 

HAND PROPERTIES 

Seven keys for center door for characters. 

One suitcase; one typewriting case; copy of agree- 
ment (long hand) and watch for Magee. 

One sure-fire revolver (under counter) for Magee. 

One package of money and one revolver for Bland. 

One revolver for Cargan. 

One sure-fire revolver for Max. 

One police whistle and one pai/r breah-aiway hand- 
cuffs for Kennedy. 

Pipe and tobacco; box of matches; flask of whiskey; 
key to linen closet; telegram; watch and lantern 
for QUIMBY. 

Lantern and sheet for Peters. 

Package of money in envelope for First Officer. 

Police whistle; two small swre-fre revolvers and 
blank cartridges for property man. 

Electric Calcium Plot Requirements 

Four blue floods, two r. and two l., on ceiling from 

fly gallery. 
One blue Olivette on back drop from L.4E. 
One red Olivette in fireplace, r.2E. 

Electric Light Plot Requirements 

One row vJhite fobtHghts on dimmer. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE loS 

One white strip light on ceiling in one — on dimmer. 
Six bracket lights on pillars on dimmer, switch l. of 

c. door. 
One white bunch light on transparency — back drop 

L.SE. 

One single incandescent lamp in room on balcony up 

R. — Out. 
One single red incandescent lamp in fireplace. 
One single red incandescent lamp in fireplace flashed 

when money burns. 

Working Plot, Act I, Scene I 

At Rise: 

Blue floods on ceiling — stand through. 
Blue Olivette on back drop — stand through. 
White bunch light on transparency, back drop. 

Cues: 

I. When QuiMBY lights lamp — foots slightly up 
with lamp. 

3. When QuiMBY puts log on fire, red glow 

from incandescent lamp in fireplace. 

4. "Old John H. Seclusion himself (Magee), 

brackets and footlights full up together. 

5. Magee snaps off brackets, foots down about 

one-half. 

Working Light Plot, Act I, Scene II 

At Rise: 

Floods, blue Olivette on drop and foots same as 

at fall. 
Bunch lights back of drop — Out. 
Red box light in fireplace. 
Cues: 

I. Magee snaps on brackets after ladies' en- 
trance. Foots full up with brackets. 



SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE 

2. Magee snaps off brackets before Peters' en- 

trance. Foots one-half down with brack- 
ets. 

3. Magee snaps on brackets after Myra's en- 

trance. Foots full up "with brackets. 

4. Magee snaps off brackets after ladies go up- 

stairs. Foots one-half down with brack- 
ets. 

5. Magee snaps on brackets after Magee shoots. 

Foots full up with brackets. 
N.B. — Lights stand until curtain. 

Act II 

At Rise: 

Lights sanme as at fall of curtain. 
Cues: 

1. Cargan snaps off brackets after Myra is 

shot. Foots down one-half with brack- 
ets. 

2. Kennedy snaps on brackets after his en- 

trance. Foots up full with brackets. 

3. Magee kisses Mary. All lights out. 

N.B. — As soon as curtain is closed, put on white 
ceiling strip and put on foots one-third 
, up. Put on floods and box light and strip 

on back drop. At cue from stage man- 
ager, put out ceiling strip — stands 
through.